Ridiculously good Meatless Monday (or any day) dinner

Ohmygod, this was so good. Firstly, I would like to note just how great a nap can be. I got one today because, as it was President's Day which only means to me no-school-for-the-boys and Tom was leaving for Boston, I'd arranged for a fave babysitter to come for a few hours. During that time, I showered and then fell asleep reading. This was an insanely luxurious treat for anytime but especially the middle of the day. Unfortunately, per the usual, I awoke slightly nauseous- does this happen to you? It's far preferable to waking up as a pissy zombie which used to be my nap aftermath, but nausea sucks, particularly if you get it from attempting to catch up on sleep, for the love. Nonetheless, a bit of time and a nice snack alleviated all unpleasantness and I've been full of pep since.

Jack taught me to play chess, and in front of a fire and surrounded by hot chocolate (both of which I'd promised the boys), we embarked on a great game. He's not Bobby Fischer as far as I can tell, but he's damn good for having learned it three weeks ago, and he was a wonderful teacher. Kudos to J! Oliver, meanwhile, undressed in phases but with the definite goal of frolicking around the house naked which he ultimately did for quite some time. What a thrill.

After I tucked them in, I looked around the house with horror. Truly, you cannot fathom such a mess. I expended some of my pep during a frenzy of cleaning and then settled in to cook a good meal. I am so glad I did.

rainbow carrots

I heated up my cast iron skillet and in it seared cauliflower "steaks" a la Dan Barber (slice a whole cauliflower top to bottom, through the stem, into thick steaks): brushed with vegetable oil and seasoned generously with salt and fresh pepper. He hit the nail on the head when he cooked cauliflower this way; it is scrumptious. Concurrently, I roasted the rest of the cauliflower (which I'd separated into florets) with these gorgeous rainbow carrots, some garlic, olive oil, cumin and coriander. On a different sheet, I roasted chopped celery root tossed just with olive oil, salt and pepper.

cauliflower steaks

When all was said and done, I took the five cloves of garlic I'd roasted and blended them with the juice of a blood orange, a knob of crème fraîche, some olive oil, salt and pepper. This was my dressing which I used to drizzle my veggies. Divine. Had I not, at that point, felt too lazy to top everything with some freshly sauteed bread crumbs, I'd have done so. But alas, lazy won, and still, all is well!