Portland has been covered in a layer of ice for two days now. After a light snowfall on Thursday, freezing rain covered the city and brought everything to a halt. I had to cancel a photoshoot and our plans to put up a Christmas tree (finally!) have been delayed again. Nevertheless, I'm enjoying the excuse to take it slow with my family at home. And the sound of dripping water outside tells me that the ice will be gone before we know it. A good thing, as next week brings another round of photoshoots and holiday events.
Over a week into December, the holiday parties and festive gatherings are well under way. I love this time of the year, when everything sparkles and there is so much joy all around. It's a great distraction from being bundled up in layers to fight off the cold and the darkness that comes too early and stays too late. During these December days, it's pretty difficult to decline to the extra cranberry cocktail, the peppermint cocoa, and holiday cookies ever in abundance.
The holidays are a time for indulgence and I fully embrace it. But with so many occasions to gather with friends and family to eat and drink, I enjoy having a variety of options beyond the traditionally heavy holiday meal. These recipes celebrate pistachios and the holidays in equal measure. A whole roasted cauliflower is a worthy alternative to the traditional meat centerpiece that is complemented with a rich, flavorful pistachio gremolata. Thinly sliced Brussels sprouts are combined with pecorino, pistachios, and pomegranate for a filling, complex salad. And to conclude the meal, wheat shortbread dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with pistachios and sea salt, which can be served as individual cookies or whole for more impact. Enjoy the recipes and stay tuned for the shortbread recipe coming Monday!
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachio Gremolata
1 large head cauliflower
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
3/4 cup packed Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup roasted and salted Wonderful pistachios, shelled
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Heat oven to 425°F. Wash and lightly dry the whole cauliflower. Place on a plate and brush with olive oil until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place the cauliflower in a warmed cast iron pan. Roast for 45 minutes or until dark golden brown.
In a food processor, pulse the mint, parsley, garlic, pistachios, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper. Slowly add in the olive oil until just combined. Add additional olive oil to adjust desired consistency. Serve over the warmed cauliflower head topped with additional pistachios.
Raw Brussels Sprout Salad with Pistachios and Pecorino
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup finely shaved pecorino romano
3/4 cup roasted and salted Wonderful pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Remove the outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts and cut into thin slices with a mandolin. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil to loosen the individual strands, then add in the pecorino, pistachios, and pomegranate.
In a small mason jar, combine the olive oil, white wine vinegar, sea salt, and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake until well combined. Mix into salad just before serving and top with extra pistachios.
This post was sponsored by The Wonderful Co. Thank you for reading!