Friday, March 2, 2012

cocoa roasted cauliflower & grape farro

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i have been inspired
it seems the end of February was cauliflowers time in the spotlight
everywhere i turned the misunderstood cauli was being showcased in beautiful recipes
either you love cauliflower or just plain not a fan of the humble veggie
if you treat her right she will love you right back with amazing taste

court over at  The Fig Tree started up my most recent cauliflower craving with her Sicilian Cauliflower Pasta

this recipe was considered a bit of an experiment; i read an article on food pairing and it mentioned cauliflower and cocoa were a match made in heaven...i vaguely remember learning this in college

so i put this match in motion and bring to you cocoa roasted cauliflower & grape farro


cauliflower is tossed with a bit cocoa and canola oil and roasted with a handful of grapes
roasting the cauliflower brings out the natural sweetness
roasted grapes, well they are just plain good; i was hooked a few years back when i made a
roasted grape and rosemary foccacia
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a bit of farro is cooked and then later tossed with the roasted grapes and cocoa cauliflower
farro is an old school grain; it was one of the first crops domesticated in the near east

this recipe takes a little effort, just a little
perfect for a lazy sunday dinner or late lunch
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a quick mint vinaigrette is added, uniting all the flavors together
the mint brings a bit of brightness to the final dish

this is a unique dish, so know your crowd before serving it to a group
this was definitely not a justin kind of meal
he thinks fruit and nuts belong in the category of snacks & breakfast
and not in salads or sides
he's weird, i know

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a healthy, yet different way of making cauliflower something to talk about
she's kind of a trendsetter you know
next time show some love to our friend miss cauliflower and pick her up at the store next time you pass her by then dress her up and go to town
Cocoa Roasted Cauliflower & Grape Farro
serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main

you will need:
1/2 cup farro
1 1/4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 cup of red seedless grapes
2 tsp canola oil

3 sprigs of mint, stems removed & leaves roughly torn into small bits
3 parts olive oil
1 1/2 parts rice vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

in a medium sauce pan over high heat bring water to a boil
add salt and farro, cover and reduce heat to low
simmer for 35-40 minutes or until farro is al dente

meanwhile pre heat oven to 400 degrees
lightly blanch or steam the cauliflower for 2-3 minutes
drain and dry the cauliflower well
toss with canola oil and cocoa powder until well coated
spread evenly onto a rimmed backing sheet, add grapes
roast for approximately 20 minutes, stirring half way through until golden and caramelized

while the cauliflower & grapes are roasting, prepare vinaigrette
place all ingredients in a jam jar, tightly seal with the lid and shake until well mixed
set aside until ready to use

once the cauliflower and grapes are done roasting, remove from oven & allow to cool on the pan for 5 minutes

toss all ingredients in a large bowl saving some of the vinaigrette to drizzle on top of the final dish




  1. cauliflower and cocoa sounds magical!

    1. LOL magical - you make me smile

      Yes, I gues you could say in a word it was magical :)

  2. Wow - I love cauliflower, and especially roasting it, but had never considered adding cocoa to the mix. What a great idea! I have a head of cauliflower in the fridge right now, and think I might just make this for lunch today. I'm inspired!

    1. YES! If you do make this let me know what you thought of the Cauliflower Cocoa combination - have a great weekend Willow!

    2. Okay - so I didn't have any farro or grapes - but I made the cauliflower! The cocoa really is a nice touch. I added the tiniest pinch of cayenne and really enoyed it. I love putting a savory spin on cocoa, but I would never have come up with this one. Thanks for enlightening me!

    3. Oooh Cayenne love the idea of a bit of heat with the cocoa - I bet it was good; I am so glad to hear that you liked the combination of the cocoa with cauliflower!

  3. Cocoa and cauliflower is a combination I hadn't heard of, yet it sounds divine!

    1. It was interesting; poor Justin, this was so out of his comfort zone :)

  4. Ooooooh, this looks so good! It's a combination of flavors I never would have put together myself, but I think I'll have to try it out!

    1. Let me know what you think of the combo if you give it a try - I would love to know what you thought of the flavors!

  5. Great minds think alike - I just posted on farro too! Thanks for giving me a new recipe to use it in!!

    1. Love Farro- can't wait to see what your post is about!

  6. that is one dressed up cauli.. cocoa! hmmm. though i can imagine that they will work together.. i am still going through a bit of cognitive dissonance, trying to imagine the usually savory cauli with the cocoa:) you are going to town alright with all these new combinations!:) i m wondering what if i put these rossted florets in some melted chocolate.. would love to see hubbs reaction when he bites into that!:D

    1. oooh like fondue - YUM!

      I have been rather adventurous in the Kitchen as of late; i think I am ready for Spring which brings a welcome change of scenery, however that is further away than I expected considering we just received 8 inches of snow yesterday :( until then I will just have to change the scenery in the kitchen with some crazy food combos!

  7. Ooh another idea for using roasted grapes! I can see how they would be perfect with roasted cauliflower and farro...I'm hoping to try the focaccia idea this weekend too!

    1. Ohhh I hope you do make the foccacia and share with us the recipe!

  8. Awe, thank you for the lovely mention! :)

    I love that you freshened the whole dish up with a mint vinaigrette. Love roasted grapes and love cauliflower. I am super intrigued by combining cauliflower with cocoa. I need to find some farro, so I can make this recipe. For some reason, I'm having a heck of a time finding some here! *hah*

    Have a great weekend! xoxo

    1. I use to end up ordering my farro online - but now can find it once in the while in the grovery store :)

      You are spot on with the mint it adds a definite brightness to the dish

  9. This recipe looks great, and I love that it's unusual, unique, and vegetarian too. I think it would make a great appetizer or side dish before the main course meal. I know some people are really picky about what they eat, but cauliflower and cocoa seems like a great combination. Thanks for the great ideas!

    1. this is definitely perfect as a side dish or starter; unusual and fun :)

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by and vist!

  10. This is such a unique recipe - I love the addition of so many versatile ingredients :)

    Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself

    1. Thanks Uru - this was definitely a lot of fun to make!

  11. nice idea..thanks for sharing....

  12. Such an inspiring recipe! Today we featured your recipe in our Farro post.

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  14. Pinned this recipe some time ago, just tried it tonight. It was incredible! Thanks!

    1. Excellent, thank you for taking to the time to let me know you enjoyed the recipe :)


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