Spicy cauliflower stir fry with peppers and heirloom tomatoes [Vegan]

Jaymi's Notes:
I love a simple vegetable stir fry for weekday dinner. They're so easy to make, and usually quick to come together, but they feel like a rich, complete meal. Simple, satisfying and healthy is the best kind of dinner and this recipe fits the bill.

This is one of those dishes where each individual flavor is distinct but also enhanced by the other ingredients. Nothing is overwhelmed. Though, I used a beautiful vine-ripened heirloom tomato and that summer tomato flavor really stood out. You can't beat summer garden tomato flavor!

More on The Cooking Project.

Kelly's Recipe:

I was in the grocery store the other day getting some odds and ends and I told myself to stay away from the vegetable section because I had a refrigerator crisper full of different vegetables, and I'm harvesting kale, eggplant, tomatoes and swiss chard from my garden. The pull of vegetables proved to be too great for me however, and I ended up coming home with some beautiful baby artichokes and a perfect head of cauliflower. But then I had to do something with them.

I dispatched the artichokes by cleaning and marinating them, so they will sit in my refrigerator for another week or so until they are ready to eat. I a had a couple of peppers left over from when I preserved a bushel of peppers, and tomatoes from my garden, so when this recipe popped up on the Bitten website it seemed like kismet.

This was a really fresh tasting dish, without the reams of different spices that often accompany Indian dishes. It's also a beautiful vibrant colour and was really appealing to look at.The whole thing came together in about half an hour, so it's a great week night dinner dish. I served it over rice, but some naan would also be a wonderful accompaniement. Both my husband and I loved this dish, and I'm going to make it again when my vegetarian kids come over for dinner.

This recipe is adapted from The New York Times, September, 22, 2010.

1 large whole cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 to 2 fresh Thai bird chilies (about 1 inch long), seeded and finely minced
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Small pinch chili powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
Small orange bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
Small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
1 very large heirloom tomatoes, or 3 large plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.

1. Immerse the cauliflower florets in a bowl of cold water and set aside.

2. Place a large, heavy-bottomed skillet with a lid over high heat, and add the oil. When the oil is shimmering, add cumin seeds and cook, stirring rapidly, until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Add 1 minced chili, coriander, cumin, chili powder and turmeric.

3. Drain the cauliflower, add to the skillet, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. (If the mixture starts to stick, add 1 to 3 tablespoons of water.) Season with salt to taste. Stir. Adjust spiciness to taste, adding part (or all) of the second chili, if desired. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover, and continue to cook, lifting the lid and stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Add orange and red bell peppers, cover, and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes. Increase heat to high and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the cilantro, and serve immediately. If desired, serve with rice or bread.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Fruits & Vegetables | Recipes | The Cooking Project | Tomatoes | Vegan | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian