I love Sundays spent slowly cooking as you go about your day. A little bit of cooking, a little bit of housework, back and forth in a lazy, roundabout sort of way. This Sunday I really felt like fall foods and this menu matched my cravings.
This cauliflower tart was from a recipe that I’ve been eying on Epicurious. Creamy and cheesy with caramelized onions and roasted cauliflower, it sounded perfect. The inside ended up being exactly what I wanted but I didn’t love the crust. The recipe called for a store-bought pie crust which was too sweet for an already sweet interior. Next time I will make my own crust. I’m thinking a savory rosemary crust would be delicious.
The salad was made by my dear friend Teagen who happens to be the salad expert (more about her in another post) and was composed of arugula, fennel, roast carrots, avocado, and scallions. It tasted just like fall and the bitterness of the arugula was a nice contrast to the creaminess of the cauliflower tart.
I took a couple of thick cut New York strip steaks out of the freezer. We get them from our local meat CSA and are always excited when steaks are included. At the farmer’s market, I picked up a couple of end-of-the-season peppers and onions. Add to that a balsamic reduction (man, does that stink when you cook it!) and we had a simple and delicious main dish.
Steak with Peppers, Onions, and a Balsamic Reduction
Thick New York Strip Steaks
Sweet Peppers (I used red and yellow), Sliced
Red Onion, Sliced
Balsamic Vinegar (because you are making a reduction you do not need a really good bottle here. I bought a $6 bottle of organic balsamic)
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Liberally salt and pepper steaks. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium-high. Add steaks and brown on each side. Place on plate to the side.
3. Add onion to same pan that you cooked the steaks in and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes.
4. Add peppers and cook with onions until soft.
5. Add the steaks back to the pan and place in the oven until cooked until desired doneness. If your steaks are not particularly thick and they have already cooked through you can skip this step.
6. Place balsamic in a separate saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer until reduced to about a 1/4 of the original amount and thick. This can be done ahead of time and keeps for several weeks.
7. Rest steaks on cutting board for 5 minutes. Thinly slice and serve in a dish with the peppers and onions and the balsamic drizzled on top.
Arugula and Fennel Salad with Roast Carrots
1. Preheat oven to 400. Thoroughly wash and dry baby carrots. Toss with olive oil and a sprinkling of cumin and place in pan in the oven. Roast until soft and browned, stirring occasionally.
2. Place arugula in salad bowl. Shave fennel with a mandoline or slice very thing with a knife. Add to arugula.
3. Chop avocado and scallions and add to salad.
4. Cut carrots into bite-sized pieces and add to salad.
5. Lightly dress with vinaigrette.
*At the grocery store, the carrots referred to as baby carrots are often those small peeled carrot sticks. Calling these baby carrots is a misnomer since these are actually normal carrots that have been peeled and cut into those weird cylindrical shapes. What I am referring to in this post are actually baby carrots – the kind that you get at the farmers market that are small and still have their greens attached. These are great because you don’t need to peel them before placing them in the oven. If you use regular carrots, you will want to peel them and cut them into smaller pieces.
**Teagen made a dressing of her own concoction. A simple lemon vinaigrette would also be lovely. I like to make mine with lemon juice, a very small amount of white wine vinegar, olive oil, a bit of dijon and a smidge of maple syrup. Not very exact measurements but it depends on your ingredients and taste.