Escarole, cauliflower, and egg salad, oh my ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

19 October 2009

Escarole, cauliflower, and egg salad, oh my

It's fall it's fall it's fall!

That means the CSA has stopped giving us bags of peaches and fresh corn on the cob, and instead started on heads of green cabbage and broccoli and cauliflower and escarole.

Now, ok. I don't know about you guys, but I lived in California for four years before we moved to NY, and while many things about California produce were awesome, let me tell you one thing. The winter produce--stuff that's at its best after the frost hits us--was not up to par. There was no frost to hit! Cabbage wasn't sufficiently crisp, apples tended toward mealy, celery went limp in the fridge. We may have had fifteen kinds of hot pepper, tomatoes up starting in March, and fresh green beans year round, but that crisp, serious fall taste just did not exist.

So these big bags of winter veg are actually more exciting to me than the peaches. They mean I get to make things like this.

Roasted cauliflower

This is the best and only way to cook cauliflower at our house.

Butcher a head of cauliflower with a huge chef's knife. Make the pieces fairly small, even if you have to split up some natural clumpage. Toss the florets in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread them in one layer on as many baking sheets as you need. I tried to fit mine onto one sheet, which was a mistake; just use two for maximum crispy brown roasty bits.

Roast at 450F for about fifteen minutes, or until the florets are browned and crispy on the outside, but soft and tender on the inside.

Egg salad with dill

Hard boil one to two eggs per person. For the best eggs, stop cooking at nine minutes, then let rest in ice water for a good ten minutes more before trying to peel.

While your eggs cool down, get out a medium-large bowl and mix up a large spoonful of mayonnaise, a small one of mustard, a handful of chopped green onion, shallot, or chives, some finely sliced radish if you have any, and a massive quantity of fresh chopped dill.

Peel your eggs, chop them roughly, and add them to the bowl. Salt and pepper; mix it up. Correct any seasonings or dryness as you see fit.

Eat it on toast. We had sourdough, but the best egg salad sandwich is always on some serious rye bread.

Garlic escarole

Core and thoroughly wash a head of escarole in a sinkful of water, like you'd do to any muddy green. You can use other greens if you want, but escarole has a perfect crisp bitterness that loves hanging out with garlic.

While the greens are soaking, peel and roughly slice several cloves of garlic. Soften them in some olive oil in a saute pan. Give it about five minutes, or until the pieces start to turn golden.

Drain the escarole (more or less; some water is actually good here) and add it to the pan. Give the mix a stir and some salt, then clap on the lid. Let the greens cook in their own steam for about three minutes, or until they're sufficiently soft and melting for you.

Oh man. Don't you feel better?


Unknown said...

that is my favorite way of making cauliflower too!

that is a dish I made for Ben while he was sick, it is so easy and simple, yet delish.

xoxo, Chrissy

Eileen said...

no kidding! we now have two totally other heads of cauliflower just waiting for the same treatment. I hope ben feels better!