Sunday, October 27, 2013

Late Dinner & Lemon Zest 101

My boyfriend Zachary came out to visit this weekend, and we spent Saturday exploring Alexandria, VA.  There was perfect fall weather-crisp and sunny.  We spent the day drinking coffee, exploring boutiques in Old Town, and walking along the harbor.  Zach and I stopped by Virtue Feed & Grain for some nachos, which were delicious, but left me wanting  a lighter, healthier dinner to recover from the delicious queso covered nachos from earlier in the day.

I was drawn to this recipe form Bon Appetit's November issue for a few reasons.  First, the bright flavors of the lemon and parsley sounded delicious when contrasted against a more hearty vegetable like cauliflower.  Secondly, I love any roasted vegetable recipe--they are always straightforward and delicious.

This recipe calls for lemon zest.  Lemon zest is the grated rind of a lemon--the oils in the rind smell and taste delicious, and the zest can add even more lemon flavor than fresh lemon juice can.  I provided some tips on grating a lemon below!

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Parsley Dressing
from November 2013 Bon Appetit

2 lb. cauliflower florets
6 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt 
Fresh ground black pepper
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place cauliflower on a pan.  Toss with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  
  3. Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Cauliflower should be tender.
  4. When the cauliflower is baking,  pulse parsley, lemon juice, and two tablespoons of olive oil until smooth in a small food processor.  
  5. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
  6. Toss cauliflower with dressing, and then top with lemon zest. 

Lemon zest tips:  Clean your lemon thoroughly--you don't want wax in your lemon zest!  Using a micro plane or zester, grate the outside of the lemon.  Zest should only include the very top layer of the lemon rind, not the white pith.  Rotate the lemon once you see the pith.  

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