Falling Gracefully into Winter.

It’s been a lovely fall season here in Southern Ontario.  Warm (mostly) and (mainly) sunny and lo-o-o-ong!  It makes the transition that much easier – and allows ALL the crops to be harvested in a timely manner without too much panic and shrieking.  Now, though, the nights have a real bite and the sunlight has an attenuated quality … winter is not far away …

Time to break out the winter menus; chili and stew and thick soups.  Comfort food, slow-you-down and stick-to-your-ribs food.  Whatever you call it, it definitely includes this salad!cauli salad 1

Lemon-Cumin Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Assemble marinade …

finely grated zest and juice of one lemon

1/3 c lemon juice

1/2 t salt

1 t pepper

2 T ground cumin

1 T chopped garlic

1 T ground coriander

whisk in …

1/3 c olive oil

Cut into bite-sized florets …

1 head cauliflower

Wash well, immersing in cold water several times.

Cut into chunky slices …

2 large carrots and 2 red onion

Parboil the carrot and thoroughly toss all vegetables with the marinade. Let sit for half an hour to get itself together. Just before service, turn out everything (vegetables and marinade) onto a parchment-covered baking sheet.  Roast in a 350 F oven for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring several times.  When stirring, use a flat spatula to pick up the marinade off of the parchment and re-distribute it over the vegetables.  A cut-glass platter makes a nice serving vessel for this salad and a sprinkle of chopped parsley would not go amiss.  Two of my favourite flavours (lemon and cumin) clinging to the meatiness of the cooked cauliflower … that will stick to your ribs!

Pro-tip for the carrots:  start cooking them in just enough cold water to cover.  By the time the water boils, they will be almost par-boiled all the way through.  If you added the cold pieces to boiling water, the outside would be mushy by the time the heat penetrated to the centre of the carrot.  Don’t forget to use the cooking water in your next soup or stew (or as the-mom-who-lives-in-my-head says “Just drink it! It’s full of vitamins!”).

I like to use what I call a “roll-cut” on the carrots.  It has lots of long, cut sides for the heat to penetrate quickly and it looks elegant. Start with a simple diagonal cut off of one end.  This piece will be different from all its siblings … treat it gently.roll cut 1Now turn the carrot one quarter turn towards you roll cut 2and make another cut on the same angle roll cut 5Keep turning and cutting until you run out of carrot. roll cut 6

More extreme versions of our usual thanks go to volunteers and members of the community who have pitched in to help during the 40 day retreat!  Virginia, Jerome, Regan, Zigang, Greg, my sisters Julie and Chris (and my Mom for one memorable afternoon!) – we literally couldn’t have done it without you all!  Thank you x 100,001!

They are taking care of us – you take care of each other and the world!  ❤




11 thoughts on “Falling Gracefully into Winter.

  1. Julie W. says:

    Aha, giving away your secrets again! This is a really delicious salad; I’m thrilled to add it to my collection. Thank you! Now that I understand how to do your rolling cut, perhaps I will recall the technique the next time I work for you.

    Another of Susan’s tricks is to reuse vegetable cooking water a few times to deepen the flavour (and yes, mother-in-our-mind, the vitamins!). But you’ll have to ask Susan in person to find out how her Mom uses her leftover vegetable cooking water.

  2. Kim says:

    I am happy to say I drink the vegetable water, having been taught by your dear Mum. Hazel

    • susanmsprague says:

      Hi, Aunt Hazel! I’m glad to hear that – it soothes my parsimonious (half) Scottish nature. Mom sometimes uses hers to dilute her pre-dinner glass of wine! love, susan

  3. Kim says:

    Instead of Kim says it should be Hazel says, but it is possible she does the same thing! Hazel

  4. Miriam Koopman says:

    Beautiful, Susan…an outstanding addition to the LH Kitchen Blog! …And, I learned a new word: attenuated. ☺

    Miriam Koopman
    Marketing Coordinator

    519.824.1250 ext 258

  5. Sandy Boyle says:

    Thanks for the tip on cooking and cutting carrots. I knew about cooking potatoes……cold for old, hot for new….but I never knew the logic.
    Love your blog….it reminds me of the wonderful weekend I spent at the centre during Lent last year.

    • susanmsprague says:

      I always find that I remember things better if I understand the logic behind them…. but a good mnemonic like your potato one is just as good, thanks! I hope we see you back here 🙂

  6. Hazel Wills says:

    Hello Susan Always a pleasure to read your recipes, I shall definitely do the cauliflower salad, it looks delicious. I do drink the vegetable juice and think of your Mum at the same time, she is such a wise lady, if I could I would clap my hands and be in Canada again, I do love it and seeing you all on my last visit was a real treat. Our weather has been similar to yours, great October fooling the plants it is summer and they are still putting on new shoots and flowers, roses blooming etc. Keep up the good work and I look forward to your next post. Love from Hazelxx

    Sent from my iPad


    • susan says:

      Chris says “a big hello!” to yourself and Kim and Dixe. She’s here helping me out tonight. With a little encouragement, I bet she’d be up for visiting you back. Maybe she’ll back me in her luggage …

    • susan says:

      oops, the comment below is for you, Aunt Hazel…. darned technology …

  7. Sean Howard says:

    Hi there. I love your blog. I am not much of a cook, but I have enjoyed following some of your recipes. My favourite is the beet salad. Awesome!

    I was at Loyola House recently and enjoyed your Apple and fennel salad. I think it just had apples, fennel, and dressing. Is the recipe for the dressing on here somewhere? I’d love to try it.

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