13 February 2007

As pure as your love...


We've made the sauce for the pasta and two bottles of homemade marinara sauce are sitting neatly at the back in the refrigerator. Also sitting is the exotic mushroom and bell pepper chutney to go on top of the bruschetta. To complete the valentine dinner, try this simple and subtle Cauliflower soup. Sometimes, less is more. Actually most of the times, less is more. I don't like the thought of adding all spices in all dishes, which is what happens in overly experimental Indian cooking.

Finally, it's valentine's tomorrow. My two bits of advice for that special dinner go like this-

Keep it simple (really simple).
Make atleast one dish from the scratch.
Choose recipes where you can make the basics ahead of time and just assemble on the D-day.
Finally, keep it LIGHT. You (or your significant other) should not sleep off while eating (heavy, greasy stuff) before you reach dessert.


My dessert recommendation would be a sinfully delicious yet ready-in-15 minutes Zabaglione. But attempt this dessert drink only if you have an electric whisk. We don't want you slaving around with a hand whisk on this beautiful day. After all it is a day to pamper yourself and feel wonderful. I tried this one after watching it in the Nigella Feasts Delicious Dinners episode and can vouch for the wow-factor of this creamy luscious drink. Ah, it is a crime to call this a drink! If you don't have Proseco, splash your beau's favourite liquor into this, Baileys wont be a bad idea.

If no electric whisk then try this Brandy Chocolate Mousse. After all, what's a Valentine dessert without some liquor in it?


All that the Cauliflower soup is flavoured with, is garlic and dried basil. And a head of fresh cauliflower needs just that. This soup has pure clean flavours which go very well with some strongly spiced dishes to maintain the balance of your meal. Don't be tempted to over spice please, atleast the first time over.


Cauliflower Soup
Makes 4 large bowls
Time taken - around 40 minutes
Category - low fat, soups


ingredients
3 cups cleaned cauliflower florets with delicate stems
1 cup sliced red onions
4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil or oregano (whichever you love best)
1 cup milk
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste

special equipment
blender or hand blender

directions
In a heavy pot, heat the oil. Throw in the garlic and sliced onions. Stir them around for a minute or so with a pinch of salt.

Put in the cauliflower florets and let the veggies braise for around 15 minutes on a low flame. Don't let them caramalise if you want a white coloured soup. Keep stirring them around, until the cauliflower is almost cooked.

Remove onto a plate and let it cool before blending into a very fine puree. You can use the cup of milk to aid in fine pureeing.

Pour the puree into a saucepan. Add required quantity of water to achieve desired consistency of soup. Simmer the soup for a few minutes. Season with more salt (if needed) and freshly ground white / black pepper and dried basil / oregano.

Serve hot in pre-heated bowls with some croutons.

What I'm going to cook up for Valentines is a surprise. I obviously don't want DH to read everything off my blog and then tell me - I know what you did last week! Besides, we may be doing the dinner end of the week due to some unexpected travel schedules. I still have time to plan. But you tell me, what's on your dinner table on the beautiful evening! I'm all eyes...

For more ideas, visit one of my favourites, Fat free vegan. There's a round up of Vegetable love!

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12 comments:

Lera said...

That's what I call a lovely dessert, tailor made for Valentine day!Nice recipe:)

Meena said...

Can't wait to see what you cook Nandita. I have a whole Arabian feast planned out for tonight, falafels, kababs, cous-cous, the works! And not to forget, some delicious blackberry wine.

Happy Valentine's to you both!

Nandita Iyer said...

Coffee has brought it to my notice that the comments link on my blog isnt working, so i am trying to do a test comment here!

Coffee said...

Nice tips Nandita :)

I made your marinara sauce the other day. Its absolutely yummilicious!!!!! I made a small quantity first just to try out. But next time I am gonna make that in wholesale!!!!!

(I hope this goes thru!!!! )

www.mykhazanaofrecipes.wordpress.com

Sig said...

Nandita, menu sounds exotic! Happy Valentine's Day!

gilly said...

Hi Nandita! Thanks for the Valentine's Tips! Your desserts sound lovely!

Happy Valentine's Day!

archana said...

Hi Nandita,,Good suggestions for Valentine day.Thanx for visiting my blog:)
I have uploaded photo of the wine today. You can get to see at least the colour of the wine if not taste:))
You have some exotic recipes here in ur blog. I am going to check them out!!:)

Soulkadi said...

Tried your fusili dish the other day..turned out excellent..made it with penne, store-bought sauce and didn't add spinach (simply coz I didn't have any). Thanks for the recipe.

Sandeepa said...

Wow Nandita, must have floored your hubby yesterday hunh :) :)

bee said...

i'm digging this cauliflower soup. usually i avoid cauliflower because of the smell. by sligthly undercooking and pureeing it, i think you have solved that issue. looking forward to your surprise recipe.

- bee

Paz said...

I trust you had a nice Valentine's Day celebration.

I love your new look!

Best,
Paz

ramya said...

Hi Di,
I absolutely loved cauliflower soup...vouched by all at home...finished off last drop for dinner.
yummy!!!