Wow! It feels great to be back here after so long. The past few weeks have been a complete whirlwind. There was our 31-hour drive from Chicago to San Francisco – with our two cats in tow – and then a two-week waiting game for our furniture to arrive. Thank goodness our neighborhood has so many great restaurants, but I think our belts and wallets were hurting a bit near the end. We’ve now had our furniture for a full week now, and after unpacking for what felt like an eternity, we are close-ish to being done. I’m finally able to cook again, but am slowed down by the fact that I can’t remember where on earth I put anything. I suppose it’ll take time to find my groove in this new kitchen.
From our neighborhood with charming Victorian homes and palm trees to the mystic morning fog, I am falling for this city. And those hills! I might be out of breath by the time I reach the top of one, but they are undoubtedly what make this city so beautiful and unique. This place is one of a kind and I feel so lucky to live here.
I’ve been easing back into the kitchen with simple, healthy recipes like this pasta with tapenade. I’m constantly thinking of new ways to spice up my pasta recipes, and I’m so glad I tried this out on a whim. I used the same tapenade recipe that I posted a few months ago, threw in some roasted cauliflower, and drizzled it all with a bit of olive oil. If you’re an olive addict like me and my husband, then you’re bound to love this dish. Accompanied by sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and lemon, this dish packs in an impressive amount of flavor. I’ve served this both hot and cold and ended up loving both versions. It would be great for a weeknight meal, dinner party, potluck, or picnic – the options are endless.
Thank you for your patience while I’ve been settling into my new life here. I’ve been posting photos of our SF life on Instagram, so do check that out if you’re interested!
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 pound of pasta of your choice
- For the tapenade:
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- Two cups pitted olives (I use a mix of black, green and kalamata)
- Large handful fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Grated parmesan (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange cauliflower florets on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until cauliflower is cooked through and starting to crisp on the outside. Stir the cauliflower once halfway through so that it cooks evenly.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, lemon juice and zest to the food processor. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until the sun-dried tomatoes are finely chopped.
- Add the olives and basil leaves to the food processor. Pulse the processor about 10 times, or until the olives are finely chopped but not pureed.
- Mix the tapenade and roasted cauliflower into the cooked pasta, stirring well. Drizzle on some olive oil, season with additional salt and pepper, and add red pepper flakes and parmesan if you'd like. This can be served either hot or cold.