Frrrrrrriiiiidaaayyyyyyy! Can we all just take a big, deep breath and give ourselves some credit for making it through yet another week, doing all of the things the best we could, or at least doing all the things as mediocre as we could, if it was one of those ugly, trying weeks. You made it and you’re doing great. Pour yourself a drink, settle in to this Friday and maybe make yourself this chicken too.
As Drake once said, “Oh you fancy, huh? See that chicken up there? It’s swimming in a cauliflower puree and I’m pretty sure, it likes it. I have to admit, I didn’t intend for this meal to be quite as fancy as it turned out, I mean- cauliflower puree, what is this, the Ritz? Throw me a piece of pizza and maybe include a beer and a napkin and I’m good to go. That being said, it’s fun to get fancy every once in a while. Do you remember the very first super-duper fancy restaurant you ever went to? I remember going to what I thought in my 7-year-old mind was a fancy restaurant which actually was, wait for it… Olive Garden. I’m sure I had been treated to some very nice dining experiences pre-Olive Garden that my 7-year-old brain couldn’t appreciate or wrap my mind around and I definitely have upped my game since, but Olive Garden will always hold a special place in my heart for that. If you haven’t had their alfredo dipping sauce along side your bread sticks, you’re just not living. Get on it.
This meal has four parts to it; the chicken, the chimichurri, the roasted veggies and finally, the star of the show- the pureed cauliflower. Total disclosure, the pureed cauliflower was actually one of those rare cooking mistakes that actually turned out way better than I had originally planned. I had gone into this thinking I was going to make the cauliflower into mashed cauliflower to mimic potatoes BUT I added way to much milk so I threw it all in the blender with a spoon full of cheese (from the amish market) and a few garlic cloves and let ‘er rip. The end result was so silky and creamy.
Next up is this beauty, the carrot top chimichurri. Along with the carrot tops I also used the tops of the spring onions, garlic scapes and the green tops of the elephant garlic we picked up at the farmer’s market last weekend. Combining all the greens with garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper kind of made it into a cheese, nut free pesto, otherwise known as chimichurri. This mixture would be fantastic as a marinade, as well as a topping on pretty much anything.
Here’s a breakdown of how I included as much of our farmers market haul as possible and where it was used in this meal:
Cauliflower puree: cauliflower, elephant garlic, milk, salt, pepper, amish cheese
Roasted carrots & swiss chard: with elephant garlic, sliced spring onions (both tops and bottoms)
Chicken & chimichurri: garlic scapes, elephant garlic, carrot tops, spring onion tops, green elephant garlic tops
The end of this cooking story is, use the tops of all your produce. Waste not, want not. And also, that I can not spell cauliflower. I’d like to dedicate this post to spell-check for reminding me of my lack of cauliflower spelling knowledge throughout this entire post.
Have a GREAT weekend.
- Roasted Chicken: rub with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper
- Cauliflower Puree:
- 4 cups chopped cauliflower
- ½ cup whole milk
- 4 cloves roasted elephant garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Roasted Veggies:
- 4 carrots
- ½ bunch of swiss chard chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1-2 spring onions sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves elephant garlic
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped carrot tops (just the leaves, 86 the stems)
- 1 garlic scape chopped
- 5 cloves of roasted garlic
- 3 tablespoons chopped green tops of spring onions
- 3 tablespoons chopped green tops of elephant garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Chimichurri: Chop all of the greens and add to a food processor or blender. Next add the olive oil, spices and roasted garlic. Blend on high for about 3 minutes until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated. If you need more olive oil to get it to the right consistency, go ahead and add that olive oil! This is you chimichurri, not mine.
- Roasted Chicken: Preheat the oven to 450. Heat a large skillet on high with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in the pan and cook on high for 3 minutes on each side. This will sear the chicken and lock in the juices. When each side is seared, put it in the oven to finish cooking for about 20 minutes.
- Roasted Veggies: slice the carrots and the bottoms of the swiss chard. Put the leafy tops of the chard aside for later. Slice the spring onions and garlic. Toss the veggies with the onions, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes at 450. 2 minutes before the veggies are done, put the broiler on and watch them closely. This will give the veggies a slight char and caramelized flavor.
- Cauliflower puree: boil the cauliflower until tender. About 10 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and place in a blender. Add the milk, garlic, cheese, salt, pepper and olive oil. Blend on high for about 5 minutes or until silky and smooth.