I have been blessed in my life to have not one, but two sisters- one on either side of me. And while they look almost identical and are often mistaken for one another in passing, they could not be more different. One is a serious, the other light-hearted. One is a Fulbright scholar and the other a mother, who can dance you under the table with her eyes closed. My sister, Megan Tria has a ranging sweet tooth, while Lauren was vegan for the better part of a decade.
And I miss them both. Equally, terribly and often. With one in the Philippines and the other in Maine, it’s difficult knowing that the quickest way to one would be even further from the other. The time zones make it hard, but the physical distance makes it harder and I often feel like runny peanut butter, trying to navigate my way between each of their crusts.
This recipe reminds me of them both. One sister invented it and the other one loves it. Though Megan would rather live on instant oatmeal than cook her own dinner, I think she’d make an exception for this dish. The girl loves cauliflower and can eat bowls of it, especially the way Lauren makes it- with lots of butter and curry powder. This is my take on her recipe. It’s a vegan version, made only slightly more complex with the addition of basil, cayenne, onions and garlic. It’s a quick side dish, but I can assure you it sure doesn’t taste like it.
Sister, Sister Curried Cauliflower
“Sister, sister” is a phrase my dad often says when all three of us are together. When we’re leaning together giggling, or taking a picture, or doing something he deems as cute. It’s an endearing term, but one that pokes just a tiny bit of fun at us at the same time. It is a phrase I think of often when we’re together and a phrase I dream about when we’re apart. I love the idea of this recipe making it’s way to other sets of sisters, who will share it over their own sets of giggles and their own bowls of nutty, brown rice.
2 heads of cauliflower, chopped into large flowerets
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups roasted and salted cashews
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 heaping teaspoons curry powder
15- 20 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped
Fill a large soup pot with about 2 inches of water. Place pot over medium heat and bring water to a boil. Once water is ready, add a small handful of salt and the cauliflower. Place the lid on the pot and steam for 15- 20 minutes until tender. You may want to stir once or twice during the steaming process to ensure that all pieces are cooked evenly.
While cauliflower is cooking, sauté onions in half of the oil over medium-low heat. When onions are translucent, reduce the heat to low and add the garlic. Cook an additional 5 minutes until the garlic is cooked through. Add the cashews and the rest of the oil and sauté another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the salt, cayenne and curry powder together, stirring until the mixture is one color. Set seasoning mixture aside.
Once cauliflower is fork-tender, strain it and add it to the onion mixture. Turn heat back on low and add the remaining oil, curry mixture and pepper. Gently stir cauliflower until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and heated through, about 2- 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add in basil.
Serve! To anyone, really, but I highly recommend sharing it with your sister.
Note: The amount of salt needed may vary depending on how salty your cashews are. You can always add more… If you are sensitive to sodium, slowly add in the salt a little bit at a time until you’re satisfied with the flavor. This dish is also great reheated the next day, but it tastes best when eaten immediately after the basil is added. If reheating, add additional basil before serving. In my mind you can never have too much fresh basil in anything!