I have always marvelled at people who have their “world famous” recipes. Growing up as a child, it was my Mom who made date squares the best of anyone (and still does). As I got older, it was friends’ parents who made different dinner dishes (tater tot casseroles courtesy of Rebecca’s mom, my friend Daniel’s dad is the first person to make me fish that I enjoyed (a beautiful maple salmon that made me forget about only eating fish sticks), and an ex’s mom who taught me the best way to make oven baked chicken wings (which I still use to this day and have received countless compliments on them)).
But what about finding your own?
I never grew up cooking. I was never the child at his parent’s ankles wanting to watch. I was more the kid who was saying “Is it ready yet?” It wasn’t until I was on my own that I wanted to learn how to cook. Thousands of meals, countless recipes learned, edited and made my own, and I’d say I’m on my way to being a good home cook. Learning how to cook, and becoming the person your friends refer to as “the one who knows how to cook” can bring some (and I use this term quite loosely) existential crises of their own.
“What is my style?” “What is my ‘Go To’ dish?” “If you were going to cook a meal for someone you’ve always wanted to meet, what would it be?”
All questions that for a while, made me sweat. For a while, I even had an entire Instagram dedicated to recipes under 500 calories thinking that would be “my thing.” Fast forward and that account has nearly 60k followers and I haven’t posted in ages. Why? Well, I realized I didn’t need to have a style, or a go-to, nor did I need to have the answers to question that would obviously never be asked in real life.
It’s only really been in the last twelve months or so that I feel I’ve really found myself in the kitchen- mostly out of stopping trying to figure out who I was. I learned to focus on finding great ingredients that allow your cooking to shine. I learned that oftentimes, less is more, and simple is better. A recipe doesn’t need to be hard, or difficult, to be good.
And isn’t it funny how life has a way of coming together when you stop trying so hard? This was also the year I found my go-to dish. It’s not a meal, but a side, and I have tinkered with this every time I make it (and I encourage you to do the same). This also happens to be a holiday favourite of mine. It’s low effort and I think you’ll love adding this to your meals.
1 Large head of cauliflower, based removed and cut into florets
1 can salt free chickpeas
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Unsalted butter
¼ Cup 35% cream
Salt to season
- Preheat oven to 425 (f)
- On a baking sheet spread out cauliflower and chickpeas and coat with 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Cook cauliflower and chickpeas in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until you start to see char marks on the cauliflower
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool a little (about 5 minutes).
- In a food processor, put 1 Tbsp of olive oil, fresh dill, and add the cauliflower and chickpea mixture
- Once the mixture is added, add the butter and place the lid on. Process on high until smooth.
- Once smooth, remove from processor and put into an ovenproof dish. Place bake in preheated oven for 5-10 minutes or until you get a light crust on the top (do not overbake or it will go dry).
- Serve with a square of butter on top and some fresh dill and black pepper.