Sunday, December 6, 2009

Macaroni with cauliflower, lima beans, and herbs

Sick of baked stuff and cashew cheese? Me too. Today I did some Christmas baking (more on this later, perhaps, the fruits of my labours being currently in the Great Freezer Outside), and at the end of it was craving something simple and comforting, but definitely not sweet, and turned to my old standby, pages 450 and 451 of Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. If I had to pick two pages of this really outstanding cookbook that (1) epitomized the book as a whole, and (2) I've got the most use and enjoyment out of over all the years I've cooked from it, these would be the pages. Here you'll find recipes for: Lumache with broccoli and capers; Orecchiette with broccoli rabe, Fusilli with cauliflower, olives, and herbs; and Spaghettini with cauliflower, butter, and pepper. But you can mix 'n' match, my friends.

Tonight, what I did was the following:

Macaroni with cauliflower, lima beans, and herbs
Serves 4

1/2 medium head cauliflower
4 scallions, including most of the greens, thinly sliced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/2 cup pitted and chopped Spanish green olives
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups dried macaroni (any small pasta would do)
1 1/2 cups cooked lima beans
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the cauliflower into small florets, then peel and dice the stems. Salt the water, add the cauliflower, and boil until partially tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Scoop the cauliflower into a large bowl and add the scallions, herbs, olives, lima beans, and oil. Cover to keep warm. Cook the pasta in the salted boiling water, then drain, add it to the bowl and toss well. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Add the almonzano, toss again, and serve.

Simple, versatile, quick, and delicious!


  1. This sounds really homey and wonderful. Lima beans would be perfect with these flavors - I always forget about limas.

  2. I've been finding lots of interesting recipes that call for lima beans lately...I'll have to go find some to start cooking!
    How strong is the olive taste in this dish? I have an olive-hater at home, so I've mostly removed all olive-including dishes from the to-cook list, or at least removed the olives from the recipes...

  3. Hi, kbinbk. The olive taste as as strong as you want it to be, depending on the type of olives you choose, and the amount. But you might please your olive hater better if you served them on the side (so you can enjoy them) and/or subbed them in the dish with broccoli, capers, or chopped greens. 'Cause those are possibilities too!