Winter Farmers Market Feast

Roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce. Photo by Keri White

We generally think of bountiful harvests in late summer into fall, but local farmers are still growing fabulous vegetables and savvy shoppers can score delicious produce year-round.

This past weekend, after a rather carnivorous month, my husband asked for a vegetarian dinner. He doesn’t ask for much, and the request coincided fortuitously with our local farmers market, so off I rolled with my “bubbe cart.” I was able to procure some adorable miniature romesco cauliflowers (they look like little evergreen trees), a head of cabbage, several sweet potatoes and a bunch of radishes.

The idea of a boring dinner is repellent to me, so I began to noodle on how I might gussy these up as I peered into my pantry, and inspiration struck. I created the following menu, and we did not feel the least bit deprived: French radish canapes, roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce, roasted cabbage with garlic yogurt sauce and sweet potato cakes. Here’s how:

French radish canapes do not require a recipe; simply toast and cool your favorite bread (I had leftover Italian), slather it with butter, top it with sliced radishes and sprinkle with a bit of fancy salt (I used hand-grated pink salt, but flaky sea salt or even coarse kosher salt is fine.)

Roasted Cauliflower With Tahini Sauce | Pareve
Serves 2

This can easily be upsized to accommodate more diners. The sauce makes more than you will need, but it is great on salad or used as a sauce for veggies, meat or fish.
I used a lime for the sauce, which is a bit off-script — I was out of lemons — but it worked fine.

For the cauliflower:
2 small romesco cauliflowers, cut in half lengthwise
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of salt and pepper

For the sauce:
3 cloves garlic
Juice of one lime
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup tahini
Cold water as needed

Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking tray with parchment and place the cauliflowers on it, flat side down.

Drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes until they are cooked through and beginning to turn golden on the edges.

While the cauliflower roasts, make the sauce: In a blender or mini chopper, place the garlic, lime or lemon juice, salt and tahini. Puree. Add cold water about a tablespoon at a time until you achieve the texture you want. It should be thin enough to pour but thick enough to coat the vegetables.

When the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven, plate it and top it with sauce.

Roasted cabbage with tahini sauce. photo by Keri White

Roasted Cabbage With Garlic Yogurt Sauce | Dairy
Serves 2

Buttermilk delivers an additional tang and serves to thin out the consistency of the sauce, but you can use water if you don’t have buttermilk. This can also be used as a salad dressing or sauce for fish.

For the cabbage:
½ head of cabbage, sliced into ½-inch discs
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of salt and pepper

For the sauce:
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste (be generous with the pepper)
1 small handful fresh parsley, rinsed
¼ cup buttermilk or water


Sweet potato cakes. Photo by Keri White

Sweet Potato Cakes | Pareve
Makes 6 cakes

3 sweet potatoes
½ small onion, chopped finely
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 egg
⅓ cup panko or plain breadcrumbs
¼ cup salt
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
Canola or vegetable oil for sautéing

Bake the sweet potatoes: Heat your oven to 400 degrees F, prick the potatoes all over and bake them for 45 minutes until cooked through. Cool, remove the flesh from the skin and mash.

Add the remaining ingredients. Taste for seasoning and add salt and cayenne if needed. With wet hands, form the mixture into patties and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to help solidify.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium; when hot, carefully place the cakes in the pan (do not crowd) and sauté until brown and beginning to crisp. Flip, cook until done and repeat with the remaining cakes. These cook for about 8 minutes in total.

Keri White is a freelance food writer.


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