Friday, July 30, 2010

Savory Ground Walnut-Cauliflower Slop

What on earth to call this recipe?  I adapted it from this recipe, appetizingly named "ground 'meat.'"  I think it's a really creative and successful recipe, but surely there's a better name?  Any suggestions?  :)

The original author made this, er, stuff to put in a lasagna.  It has a pleasing texture and taste, but it's not something you'd eat on its own. While the original author called for 1 tsp of liquid smoke, I thought 1/2 tsp was a little too much.  I think I'm finally able to articulate my ambivalence about liquid smoke: like salt, it should never be a dominant flavor that you taste; rather, it should add interesting dimensions to the other flavors.

I think you could also use ground/chopped mushrooms in addition to cauliflower and walnuts, with great results.

When this stuff came out of the oven, I mixed a small portion of it with some canned tomato to make a delicious pasta sauce.  But I've frozen the rest for putting into a lasagna some day.  I never cook with meat substitutes like TVP (ew ew ew), so I'm a little at a loss for what else to do with this.

Savory Ground Walnut-Cauliflower Slop [with tomatoes added]
(adapted from Diet, Dessert and Dogs)

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and washed, broken into florets (about 1 pound/450 g after trimming)
2 c raw walnut halves
2 TB extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 to 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
sea salt, to taste (I didn't add any)
2 TB tamari

1. Preheat oven to 350*.  Oil a large baking dish.
2. In a food processor, blend the cauliflower and nuts to a fine meal.  Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.
3. Turn the mixture into the pan and spread out evenly.  Bake for 45 minutes and up to 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring after 30 minutes and then every 15 minutes after that, until it's is dry and brown (if the layer underneath comes up looking wet and white–as cauliflower tends to do–then you need to keep baking).  The grounds will begin to separate and intensify in color as they roast.  Once the meat is cooked, you can cool, package, and freeze it for later use, or use it right away.  Will keep, up to 3 days, covered in the refrigerator.  May be frozen.  Makes about 4-5 cups.

1 comment:

Ricki said...

Hi Julia,
Can you believe your post only showed up in my blog stats today??? So sorry I didn't know about it before or would have commented then. :) Thanks so much for giving it a try! I think a reader came up with another name a few weeks later (cauliflower crumbles, or something like that. . . ). I've also used the crumbles in a few other recipes since then, most successfully a vegan tortiere. Thanks so much for trying out the recipe! :)