Most of you already know who she is.
If you follow food blogs or cook, you know who she is. Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen. She cooks in a tiny kitchen in NYC. She writes and speaks with ease and is freaking brilliant in the kitchen. Deb can even make a casserole look deliciously good. Good, like, I want a big piece of that casserole right now! And I don’t know anyone else who can.
I have the cookbook and was so overwhelmed with all the wonderful recipes and somehow skipped over Deb’s Cauliflower Pesto. Fortunately, my dear and brilliant friend Paula made it and blogged about it here: Vintage Kitchen’s version (uh, yum!) and I immediately added this recipe to my “must make immediately” list.
Fast forward five months or so. . and I have finally gotten around to trying this. The Cauliflower Pesto from Smitten Kitchen.
This pesto is insanely good. I wasn’t going to post anything since I did nothing really (except made a few different choices with the ingredients) and just followed Deb’s recipe. . but I am sharing this to urge everyone to try this recipe. It’s that good. And it’s freaking easy to make. You just need a food processor.
A few things to note:
I used pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes from a jar packed with olive oil (not dried) and Parmigiano-Reggiano because I love it so much. Next time, I might try roasting the cauliflower and then chopping it up into tiny bits. . probably won’t look as pretty and will change the texture but I’m going to try it.
Neither of my kids really liked this (they are young and it was probably too hard to pick out the green stuff) so after giving some of this to my friend Victoria to take home, I still had a good amount left over so toasted some bread and made some crostini. Absolutely delicious (photo below).
Delicious, like, if I had to eat this stuff for a week straight and nothing else, I totally would.
Spaghetti with Cauliflower Pesto
- Kosher salt
- 6 to 8 ounces dried spaghetti
- 1 small 13-ounce head cauliflower, cut into chunks
- 1/2 cup unsalted toasted almonds or pine nuts
- 1/2 cup green olives
- 3 to 4 sun-dried tomatoes
- 1- ounce chunk pecorino-Romano cheese cut into chunks; plus more for serving (OMIT for vegans)
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- a handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes or more as needed
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or more to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt, then the spaghetti. Cook according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, place the cauliflower (in batches) into the food processor and pulse to form couscous-like crumbs; transfer all to a large-sized mixing bowl.
- Still using your food processor, add in the almonds or pine nuts, green olives, sun-dried tomatoes, cheese, garlic, capers and parsley. Pulse to form a coarse bread-crumb consistency, then add the mixture to the cauliflower in the bowl, along with the crushed red pepper flakes.
- Stir in the olive oil, 2 teaspoons of the vinegar and salt. Mix well and taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Add the pasta and toss to coat evenly. Drizzle with a touch more olive oil and a splash of the vinegar if needed. Serve and enjoy!
RECIPE is published here.
Let me know if you try this pesto! I made a huge batch of this for my husband to enjoy this weekend while I am having fun at my first food blogger’s conference. He’s going to be thrilled. Just like he was thrilled about Meatless Mondays. Enjoy!