It’s funny how recipes can become construed and misconstrued, made up, as they are, of words. The symbols I take as universal are very confusing to some people. And measurements are so changing and mysterious, especially when you’re talking about the size of a vegetable! In recipes such as this one, it’s okay that the measurements are vague. You can adjust the amounts to your taste. We have roasted potatoes, cauliflower and roasted butter beans (yummy!) And we have a sauce to toss them in, and you can roast just as much of each as you like! You can mix everything together, and fry it in a skillet till the sauce is fairly dry and coating each piece, and that’s tasty. Or you can leave the elements separate, and let people take what they like, which is what we did, because not everyone in the family is as enthusiastic about cauliflower. We ate this with simple herbed farro, and some sauteed kale and broccoli rabe tossed with lemon and butter.
Here’s the Tokyo Story Theme, by Saito Kojun
1/2 medium sized head of cauliflower (about 2 cups florets) sliced into 1 thin 1-inch pieces
2 largeish potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 can butter beans, rinsed and well-drained
Enough olive oil to coat all of these (3 or 4 tablespoons, total)
1 t sage
1 T olive oil
1 t hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 t rosemary, chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t caraway seeds
1 t nigella seeds
1 T tomato paste
1 generous T pomegranate molasses (or brown sugar)
2 red peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded (or one jar, if it’s wintertime or you’re feeling lazy!)
1/2 cup water
1 t smoked paprika
1/2 t cumin
1 T butter
1 t balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup pitted black olives, chopped
salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425. Arrange the potatoes and cauliflower in even layers on their own trays, and toss each with just enough olive oil to coat. Toss the butterbeans with olive oil and sage in a small roasting pan, in a single layer. Put all of these in the oven and roast till they’re brown and crispy, stirring/shaking the pans from time to time, so things get evenly browned. The beans cook fastest, maybe 25 minutes, then the cauliflower, then the potatoes, maybe 40 – 45 minutes. So keep an eye on everything!
Meanwhile, warm 2 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the rosemary and red pepper, stir and fry for half a minute, then add the shallot. Stir and fry for a minute. Add the garlic, caraway seeds and nigella seeds. Stir and fry until the garlic starts to brown, then add the tomato paste and pomegranate molasses. Stir to mix in, then add the peppers. Stir to coat. Add the paprika and cumin, and quickly add the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is quite thick. Add the butter and balsamic, and then purée till smooth. Return to the heat, add the olives, and cook to warm through.
At this point, you can toss the potatoes, cauliflower and beans in the sauce, or serve each separately, for people to mix as they like, if you happen to have any picky eaters in the bunch.
1 T olive oil
1 t oregano
1 t basil
2 bay leaves
1 cup farro
3 cups water
salt & pepper
Warm the olive oil in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the herbs and then the farro. Stir to coat with oil, and then cook for about five minutes, till it starts to smell toasty and look golden. If it gets too brown, or the herbs start to smell burnt, add the water right away.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and cook at a slow boil for about 20 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. The grains should be al dente. Leave on the warm burner to sit for about five minutes. Stir in butter, salt and pepper, fluff with a fork, and serve!