This is one of those odd combinations that just works. It sounds like a recipe I threw together based on whatever’s in the fridge, and in fact you really could try using different elements here if that’s what you have. Cauliflower always seemed like such a dull vegetable, it’s colorless for heaven’s sake! But roasted, it’s transformed – when it’s just a bit burned along the edges, that’s when it’s best. And kale, well, everyone and his dog knows how good kale chips are by now, right?
Here, the roasted veggies’ slight bitterness pairs up with a bright lemony-parmesan dressing and some gnocchi for heft, that’s a perfect dinner for early spring, just before all the best new crops start rolling in. If you feel the need for some protein, add some beans (you know I’m going to say chickpeas. I have such a thing for chickpeas!) or bacon.
There’s some chopping involved here, but once that’s done, it’s a very low-maintenance project. You could do some of it on the stovetop, but I think that’s more work, really. This past week I prepped the kale and cauliflower the night before, so all I had to do was pop them in the oven and boil the water for gnocchi while I made the dressing. Toss it all together and you’re ready to eat!
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 2 bunches kale
- 1 package (500 grams) store-bought gnocchi
- 2 Tbs plus 2 tsp good quality olive oil, separated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- zest and juice of one lemon
- ½ cup or so grated Parmesan cheese
- salt, pepper to taste
- Additional parmesan cheese for sprinkling over the top
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut the stem off the cauliflower and cut/separate the florets into bite-size pieces.
- Toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil .
- Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer; sprinkle with a little salt.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to move things around, until the cauliflower is nicely browned.
- Meanwhile, cut the thick center stem from the kale and tear the leaves into large pieces.
- Toss with a teaspoon of olive oil (or again, spray) and spread on another pan, or make room on the cauliflower pan.
- The kale needs only about ten minutes in the oven, so keep an eye on it or put it in when there are just ten or so minutes left for the cauliflower.
- You want it to get crisp but not burn.
- Put a pot of water on to boil for the gnocchi.
- Whisk together the oil, mustard and garlic; whisk in the lemon zest and juice, and then stir in the Parmesan.
- Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Boil the gnocchi according to directions, drain, and put it in a large bowl.
- When the cauliflower and kale look appealingly browned, add them to the bowl, reserving a few of the crispier kale leaves.
- Add the dressing and toss gently.
- Serve with the reserved kale leaves and Parmesan sprinkled on top.