Thursday, September 29, 2011

Curried Carrot and Pear Salad

My recent obsession with shredded carrot salads (see here and here) continues with this curried carrot and pear version.  The original involves long, thin strips of carrot, but shredding in the food processor is way quicker (if a little less attractive).  I'm particularly a fan of the dressing, which really just "pops" and is way more than a sum of its parts.  Do make sure to use a curry powder that you really love, as its flavor is the most prominent in the dressing.  Despite the inclusion of mayo in the dressing, it's not creamy - the small amount just helps the dressing "stick" to the carrots.     

Crunchy carrots combine well with sweet, perfectly ripe pears, and slivered almonds add even more crunch and great nutty flavor.  I could take or leave the parsley - next time I think I'd use flat leaf instead of curly, or maybe even chopped fennel fronds (come to think of it, some thinly shaved fennel bulb wouldn't be out of place here either).  Although I'd say this salad is best served the day it's prepared, it definitely holds up a few days in the fridge.  This is really one of my favorite things about this sort of salad - I can make a big batch at the beginning of the week to include in lunches and get my veggies all week long.  In this case, the pear will get brown, but the salad will still be tasty. 

Curried Carrot and Pear Salad (adapted from Honest Fare, original recipe here)
Serves 4

Juice of 1 Meyer Lemon
2 T olive oil
1 T honey
1-1/2 tsp mayonnaise
1/4 tsp curry powder (I used Penzeys' Maharajah Style Curry Powder)
Pinch cayenne
Pinch pimentón
Salt, to taste

4 large carrots, peeled and shredded (a food processor is easiest)
1 pear, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup finely chopped curly parsley
1/4 cup slivered almonds

1. Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tightly fitting lid.  Screw on the lid and shake until well combined.  Pop in the fridge to chill while you make the salad.
2. Toss together the carrots, pear, parsley, and almonds.  Pour over most of the dressing and toss to combine, adding more dressing as needed.  Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.  Chill the salad until cold, and then serve.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Vanilla Bean-Peach Jam

Sweet and delicious peach jam - simply split a vanilla bean and add it to the pot along with the fruit and sugar, using the recipe from Certo.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thai Cucumber Salad

I love chicken satay, but I especially love the cucumber salad that typically comes alongside chicken satay!  It's got that perfect combination of sweetness and fresh crunch to cut through the rich peanut sauce on the chicken.  It turns out this salad is really easy to make at home, and is a great side dish for any rich meat dish. I served it alongside a fantastic meatball curry, which I'll post about soon.  The salad contributed lots of great flavors to the meal - fresh herbs, crunchy onions and cucumbers, sugar, and a bit of spice.  I'll definitely be making this one again!

On another note, I've finally compiled a list of all the recipes on this site so that you can find them easily.  There's a link on the right sidebar, or you can find the list here.  I hope this is useful, and please let me know if you find any broken or missing links.

Thai Cucumber Salad (adapted from use real butter, original recipe here)
Serves 5-6

1/4 cup + 2 T white sugar
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
A few generous pinches of red pepper flakes
3 large-ish cucumbers, peeled, seeds scraped out, and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly choppd

1. Combined the sugar, vinegar, salt, water, and red pepper flakes in a saucepan over high heat.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved and bring to a boil.  Simmer about 1 minute, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2. Toss together the cucumbers and onions.  Pour the dressing over and then toss in along with the mint and cilantro.  Chill for a half hour or more to allow the flavors to combine, and then serve.

I'm sending this recipe off to the These Chicks Cooked Link Party!

Friday, September 23, 2011

BLT Salad

I figured I'd better get this post up while there are still good tomatoes available at the market, and this is the perfect way to showcase them.  I love BLT sandwiches in the summer - and here in the Bay Area, we're finally getting our summer weather after a "summer" of fog!  This salad features all of those great BLT flavors in a somewhat healthier package.  There's lots more lettuce, quinoa for added protein, and extra veggies in the form of cucumbers and avocados.  I'm not a huge fan of mayo-based dressings, but you could certainly use one here to replicate that part of the classic BLT (I used a basic vinaigrette instead).  Either way, this is a hearty and delicious salad that will fill you up and help you enjoy the end of summer.

BLT Salad (adapted from Family Fresh Cooking, original recipe here)
Serves 2

For the salad:
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled
3 slices thick-cut pepper bacon, cooked until crispy and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium heirloom tomato, chopped and seeded
1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/4 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large handfuls baby lettuce

For the dressing:
3 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon vinegar
Salt and pepper

1. Toss together the quinoa, bacon, tomatoes, avocado, and cucumber.  Set aside.
2. Shake up all the dressing ingredients in a tightly-sealed jar.  Taste, and adjust for seasoning.
3. Drizzle some of the dressing onto the salad and toss to combine.  Add more of the dressing if needed.  Then add the lettuce and toss to combine.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No-Pectin Blueberry-Lime Jam

Although jam recipes usually use added pectin (like Sure-Jell) to make them set properly, you can also make cooked jam without any added pectin - using just the pectin that naturally occurs in fruit. Although the cooking time is quite a bit longer, it leads to jams with a softer set and allows one to use much less sugar.  You might notice that the recipes inside the Sure-Jell packet typically use an equal amount of fruit and sugar, or even more sugar than fruit in some cases.  While that can be pretty yummy, of course, it's also nice to be able to use less sugar and get more of a pure fruit flavor.  This blueberry jam is a perfect example of that - it tastes just like summer, with absolutely amazing blueberry flavor.  Lime juice adds acid that makes the jam safe for preserving, and also adds terrific flavor.  It's not totally noticeable at first, but the lime juice and zest definitely add something extra special.  This is now one of my favorite jams that I've made - so good!

No-Pectin Blueberry-Lime Jam (adapted from Canadian Cookie on
Makes about 3 cups

6 cups blueberries
3-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp finely grated lime zest

1. In a large pot, crush 3 cups of the berries with a potato masher.  Add the remaining berries, sugar, lime juice, and lime zest.
2. Bring to a boil, and boil, stirring constantly, for about 20 minutes, until the jam is thickened.  If you drop a bit on a cold plate (keep a stack in the freezer to test), it shouldn't run.
3. Ladle in jars, leaving 1/4-inch headroom.  Screw on the lids, and process in boiling water for 10 minutes.  (Or, if you don't want to preserve the jam with boiling water, just store in the fridge or freeze.)

I'm sending this post off to These Chicks Cooked!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Roasted Tomato-Basil Pesto

Plain green pesto isn't always my favorite, but I love pestos made with added veggies, like this version with roasted red peppers or the subject of this post, roasted tomato-basil pesto.  I love the flavor of roasted tomatoes - much deeper than raw tomatoes, and a little caramelized.  The tomatoes combine perfectly with crunchy almonds, punchy garlic, and fragrant basil to make a pesto that can be used in lots of ways.  I tossed some with pasta, roasted veggies, and more fresh basil (pictured below).  I stuffed some in a quesadilla with feta cheese (so good!).  And, I mixed some of the pesto with mayo as a spread for turkey sandwiches.  The possibilities are endless!  This is a great condiment to have in the fridge to make lots of meals more interesting (mine lasted about a week before I gobbled it all up).

Roasted Tomato-Basil Pesto (adapted from Oh She Glows, original recipe here)

9 Roma/Italian/plum-type tomatoes (a little over a pound), sliced in half lengthwise
1/3 cup whole almonds, toasted
2 garlic cloves
1 cup tightly packed basil + more to garnish
1/4 cup olive oil + more to drizzle on tomatoes
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatoes cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for about 30 minutes, and then flip the tomatoes over and continue to roast until totally soft and nicely browned.
2. Place the almonds and garlic in a food processor and process until chopped.  Measure out 1-1/2 cups of the tomatoes and reserve the rest for another use (like chopping them up and adding them to pasta along with this pesto). Add the tomatoes and pulse a few times.  Add the basil and olive oil, and pulse until the pesto is as smooth as you like it.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mongolian Beef and Gai Lan

It's always fun to make take-out dishes at home, and this one was no exception.  Mongolian beef is actually really simple and quick to prepare, and of course you can customize it to make it more or less spicy, etc. This recipe tastes almost exactly like the restaurant version, which was actually a bit sweet for me - I think if I make this again I'll start with half as much sugar, then taste and add more only if it's really needed.  Still, despite being a little too sweet, this beef dish was very tasty.  Chinese broccoli made a great accompaniment to the beef, contributing some acid and lightening up the dinner a bit.  My only complaint is that the gai lan did not turn out as bright green as I would have liked, although it did have a perfect tender-but-not-mushy texture. 

Mongolian Beef (adapted from Pink Bites, original recipe here)
Serves 3

1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 T chopped garlic (about 2 -3 large cloves)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar [next time I would reduce by half]
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 large green onions, trimmed and sliced crosswise into thirds

1. Pat the steak slices dry with a paper towel and mix with the cornstarch.  Toss to completely coat each piece.  Place in a strainer and shake of excess cornstarch. 
2. Heat half the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger.  Immediately add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes.  Cook about 2 minutes, and then transfer to a bowl (shouldn't be thick yet).
3.  Turn the heat up and add the remaining oil to the wok.  Add the beef and cook, stirring until it is browned.  Pour the sauce back in and cook along with the meat.  Cook longer for a thicker sauce or leave it thinner by cooking for a shorter amount of time - up to you.  Add the green onions when the sauce is almost done, cook for just about 30 seconds more, and then serve with rice and greens.

Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli) with Asian Dressing (adapted from Jamie Oliver and Wandering Chopsticks)
Serves 3

1/2 to 3/4 pound bunch of gai lan (Chinese broccoli)
Small piece fresh ginger
1 small clove garlic
1 tsp minced fresh red chile (adjust for your particular pepper and taste)
1/2 T sesame oil
1-1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T soy sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1. Steam the gai lan for about 10 minutes, until just tender
2. Meanwhile, make the dressing.  Grate the ginger and garlic into a bowl.  Add the chile, sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, and vinegar.  Whisk to combine well.  Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
3. Toss the sauce with the cooked greens and serve.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Summer Salad with Cucumber, Cantaloupe, and Tomatoes

It's time for another month's edition of the Secret Recipe Club! This month my secret partner was Itzy's Kitchen.  I fell in love with her recipe for Lighter Panzanella Salad - it seemed like the perfect way to enjoy summer produce.  The combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, and cantaloupe is amazing - some sweetness, some crunch, and lots of flavor.  Along with crispy croutons, salty cheese, and acid from the vinegar, this salad has perfect balance!  I used a favorite cheese of mine, Bulgarian feta - it's a little wetter and creamier than normal feta - but any creamy cheese would be fantastic in this salad.  I'm soaking up all the summer flavors I can before fall arrives for real, and this salad was the perfect way to do it - thanks Erica!

Summer Salad with Cucumber, Cantaloupe, and Tomatoes (adapted from Itzy's Kitchen, original recipe here)
Serves 1

1 medium tomato, cored and cubed
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1/3 cup cubed cantaloupe
1 handful croutons
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Crumbled Bulgarian feta cheese (or another feta)

Toss together the tomato, cucumber, cantaloupe, and croutons.  Drizzle with oil and vinegar and toss again.  Let sit about 5 minutes for the flavors to combine, and then top with crumbled feta cheese.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Jam Cake with Peanut Streusel

I love this coffee cake for two reasons.  First, it's a great way to use up jam mishaps (or any extra jam you have on hand).  In my case, I had some sour cherry jam that tasted yummy but totally failed to set up properly due to me reading the Certo instructions incorrectly.  This was the perfect use for it - the liquid-y nature of the jam actually made it easier to spread onto the cake batter, and the flavor came through really well.  If you have a particularly thick jam, you might want to warm it up a bit before trying to spread it on the cake batter, which is on the thick side.

Second, it has really unique flavors.  I'd never had peanut streusel before, but it was a totally genius topping!  Flavored with fragrant orange zest, the streusel added something really special and new to the coffee cake.  I could also see subbing in lemon or lime zest to complement whichever flavor of jam you use.  And, of course, you could use any sort of nut here - but do try this with peanuts because the result is unusual and delicious!  Overall, the cake was moist and tasty and stayed fresh for a couple of days wrapped in plastic (which is all it took us to consume it!).  It was great for breakfast and just snacking throughout the day - the recipe is definitely a keeper.

Jam Cake with Peanut Streusel (from Food Network Magazine)
Makes one 9-inch square coffee cake

For the Streusel:
3 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 cup jam or preserves

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch-square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Lightly butter the paper or spray with oil.
2. Make the streusel.  Combine the butter, sugar, peanuts, orange zest and vanilla in a food processor and pulse until the nuts are coarsely chopped.
3. Make the cake: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Beat the butter and sugar in a separate bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each, and then beat on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl and finish mixing by hand (do not overmix).
4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with half of the streusel and dollop with half of the jam. Spread the remaining batter on top. Sprinkle with the remaining streusel and top with the remaining jam.
5. Place the baking pan on a larger sheet pan to catch any drips.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the cake cool completely, then lift out the cake by the parchment paper and cut into squares.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Roast Chicken with Mustard Butter

Roasting a whole chicken always seems like such a production that I'm reluctant to do it, but once I get into it I remember it's not actually all that much work!  Sure, raw chicken is pretty gross, but the end product is so much yummier than boring skinless boneless breasts (the other usual go-to chicken) that it's totally worth it.  To make this chicken, you spread butter flavored with herbs, lemon, Dijon mustard, and other yummy stuff under the chicken skin, which makes the meat super moist and flavorful.  This is a great method since the flavor doesn't just stay on top of the skin but goes all the way through the meat without having to plan ahead and marinate or brine the chicken.  (I'm terrible at planning ahead, so that's important for me!)  Do be sure to use a meat thermometer since different sizes of chicken will cook at different rates. 

Roast Chicken with Mustard Butter (adapted from a Bird in the Oven and Then Some)
Serves 4

4 pound whole chicken
4 T room-temperature butter
2 T finely chopped red onion
2 T Dijon mustard
Scant T Woody's Gourmet Fresh Rosemary and Sage Herb Sea Salt (or another herb salt, or some fresh herbs cut up and mixed with kosher salt)
2 tsp minced fresh garlic  
1-2 Meyer lemons
Flakey coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a rack in the middle.  Remove the giblets if present.  Pull off excess fat around cavities of chicken and discard, then rinse chicken and pat very dry inside and out.  Loosen skin under each breast and thigh with a finger.
2. Combine the butter, red onion, mustard, herb salt, and garlic in a bowl, and then zest one lemon into the bowl (reserving the zested lemon).  Stir to combine.
3. Work the butter mixture under the chicken skin using your hands, about 1 T at a time.  Gently rub hands over outside of chicken to smooth out the butter and work it into parts of the meat where your hands don’t reach
4. Cut the lemon into quarters and stuff into the cavity of the chicken. If there is any more room, quarter the second lemon and stuff it inside too.  Tie the legs together with kitchen string, and then season all over with salt and pepper.
5. Place the chicken in a lightly oiled roasting pan, breast side-up.  Roast 35 minutes, and then rotate the pan and reduce heat to 375 degrees.  Continue roasting, basting occasionally, until the until juices from the thigh run clear or when a thermometer in the thigh reads 165 degrees, about 25 to 35 minutes more.
6. Remove chicken from the oven and let rest 15 minutes in the pan. Baste with juices.
7. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.  Carve and serve with the pan juices and extra salt for sprinkling.

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Kerrygold.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Guest Post: Roasted Peaches with Thyme and Ricotta

My roommate E. recently made an amazing dessert of roasted peaches with honey, fresh ricotta, lemon, and thyme.  It was so delicious - the perfect use for the last of those amazing late-summer stone fruits!  I was so in love with this dish that I asked her to write up a little guest post for this blog...this way I'll be sure to remember the recipe so I can make it myself in the future!  Be sure to visit her blog here.  Here's what E. had to say about the recipe:

I used Meyer lemons from our tree, and while I loved the soft, floral flavor of the lemon peel (and didn't bother about any of the white pith remaining on my peels, which you should watch out for with conventional lemons), I'd definitely make sure to use the peel of two larger lemons next time. Depending on how fresh your vanilla bean is, you may want to use a whole bean; I did, since the bean I had was ancient. And if you have artisan honey or flower pepper lying around, be sure to use those!

Roasted Peaches with Thyme and Ricotta (adapted from the Short & Sweet Dessert Deck by Gale Gand)
Serves 4-8 (depending if folks want one or two halves)

1-2 T unsalted butter
1/2 to 1 vanilla bean
About 10 inches fresh lemon peel, in strips
1 sprig fresh thyme
8 black peppercorns
4 large, ripe peaches, halved and pitted
2 T honey
1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop up the butter and scatter it over the pan, then put the pan in the oven to melt the butter. Remove the pan from the oven, then split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the insides of the bean into the pan. Strip the thyme leaves from the stalk and sprinkle the thyme leaves, lemon peel, and peppercorns into the pan.

2. Put the peaches cut side down in the pan, and drizzle with honey before laying the vanilla bean husk on top of the peaches. Bake until the peaches are soft to the touch and a little "slumped," about 15-20 minutes. Let cool in the pan.

3. Turn the peaches over and arrange in a serving dish; drizzle the pan juices over the peaches, removing the peppercorns and the lemon peel. Spoon ricotta into the divot of each peach and garnish with more thyme sprigs and serve. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pluot Tart

This tart is a gorgeous and delicious way to enjoy juicy summer stone fruit before fall hits in earnest.  Although I used pluots, I think peaches, plums, apricots, or nectarines would work just as well. The fruit is arranged on a vanilla filling that is sort of like a custard and sort of like a cake - I'm not quite sure how to describe it except - yummy!  You could definitely flavor the filling with something like almond, orange zest, or lemon zest, although I thought the plain vanilla version was very tasty.  This all goes in a crunchy sweet tart crust that's easy to make even without a food processor (which some tart crust recipes require).  You can chill it and roll it out, but I found it easier juts to press the crust into the pan.  After the tart cools, it cuts into neat slices that look lovely on a plate but are also sturdy enough to eat out-of-hand if you need to eat and run.  I'm not sure if leftovers would hold well or get soggy from the fruit, but then again you probably do not need to worry about leftovers!

Pluot Tart (adapted from ~elra~, original recipe here)

For pâte brisée au sucre:
1-1/2 cups  (210 g) all-purposed flour
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a fork

For filling:
1 large egg
1/4 cup (30 g) sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup (50 g) all-purposed flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
4 T (50 g) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/2 pounds fresh pluots or plums, blanched, peeled, and sliced
2 T granulated sugar, for sprinkling

1. Make the pâte brisée au sucre.  In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add the butter, and cut in with a pastry cutter until crumbly.  Stir in the egg, just to combine.  Add cold water if needed to make a dough that just holds together.
2. Press the dough into a 10- or 11-inch tart pan, trying to make it as even as possible.  You may have extra dough left over.  Chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Prick the dough all over with a fork.  Bake about 10 minutes, until very lightly browned.  Remove from an oven and flatten a bit with the back of a spoon.  Let cool.
4. Make the filling.  Whisk together the egg, sugar, and vanilla.  Sift in the flour and baking soda, and beat to combine.  Add the softened butter and beat until smooth.
5. Spread the filling in the bottom of the tart shell.  Arrange the pluot slices on top, in concentric circles, overlapping slightly. 
6. Bake the tart at 400 degrees on the lowest rack in the oven for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and sprinkle the fruit with 2 T sugar.  Return tart to oven and bake another 10-15 minutes, until the pluots are glazed.  Let cool before serving.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pasta with Spicy Broccoli and Cauliflower

Ever since I got the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, I've been meaning to cook something out of it - but although the recipes are all tempting, I somehow never got around to it!  I finally managed to break the ice with this delicious pasta dish. I made it for our first "house dinner" of the year with my new housemates (as well as the ones who stuck around from last year, of course).  Although it contains various ingredients that are semi-questionable to picky eaters - broccoli, anchovies, and olives - everyone really enjoyed it.  I like how all the veggies get caramelized, and how the anchovies and olives add little bursts of salty flavor.  If you're not so sure about anchovies, do try this recipe - you absolutely cannot taste them specifically, but they add something a little special.  If you want your pasta really spicy, you should definitely add more red pepper flakes - this amount was just slightly spicy.  The lemon wasn't in the original recipe, but after tasting the pasta, a hit of acid was just what it needed.  Overall, I really loved this recipe and I look forward to my next Zuni Cafe endeavor!  I served this with carrot-cumin salad with feta cheese, a pairing I highly recommend (you can prep the salad first and stash it in the fridge until the pasta is ready).

Pasta with Spicy Broccoli and Cauliflower (adapted from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook)
Serves 6

Olive oil
18 ounces broccoli, trimmed, with a few inches of stem intact
18 ounces cauliflower, leaves removed and stem end trimmed
1 small head fennel, trimmed and cored
Sea salt
1-1/2 T capers, rinsed, pressed dry, and coarsely chopped
1-1/2 pounds pasta
1-1/2 T chopped anchovy fillets
6 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly pounded in a mortar
8 pinches dried chili flakes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pitted black olives
Juice of 1 Meyer lemon

1. Slice the broccoli, cauliflower, and fennel about 1/8-inch thick.  Don't worry about small pieces that crumble off or if the slices are slightly uneven - just save everything.
2. Heat two large non-stick skillets over medium heat.  Also put a big pot of water on a burner over high heat and bring to a boil.
3. Add a generous amount of oil to cover the bottom of both skillets.  Add most of the broccoli, cauliflower, and fennel, leaving behind the smaller crumby bits.  Let the veggies cook until the edges brown a bit, about three minutes.  Salt lightly, and stir gently.  Add a bit more oil and scrape the remaining veggies into the pan.  Add the capers and stir gently.  Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring occasionally - be sure to allow the veggies to sit a good amount of the time so they can get brown and crispy.
4. Meanwhile, once the pasta boils, add a generous amount of salt along with the pasta.  Cook until al dente, drain, and then return to the pot.
5. Once the veggies have shrunk by about a third and are browned and mostly tender, combine them in one skillet.  Reduce the heat, add a bit more oil, and scatter over the anchovies, garlic, fennel seeds, and chili flakes.  Stir everything until evenly distributed and cook for another few minutes.  Add the parsley and olives, toss, and then taste - adjust for any ingredients that need a stronger flavor.
6. Toss together the veggies and the pasta.  Squeeze the lemon juice over and toss to combine.  Serve right away.