Winter Citrus & Baby Green Salad, served alongside Creamy Cauliflower with Spinach + Bok Choy Baked Penne
During the winter months, the two things I crave most are sunshine and cozy fires. This meal was inspired by those cravings to deliver a wonderful balance between the bright fresh flavours in the salad, and a ‘warm hug’ from the comforting baked pasta.
Packed full of flavour and loaded with goodness, Earthbound Farm Organic Greens & Vegetables ensure that you are not just making healthier choices for yourself, but for the world too! Plus, the variety and convenience of Earthbound Farm products makes it so easy to eat and cook more whole, fresh, organic produce.
- 1 large Earthbound Farms Organic Cauliflower (2+lbs/900g), cut into medium florets. (Alternatively, 27oz/765g, Earthbound Farms Organic Cauliflower Florets – 3 bags)
- 3 small yellow potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1.1 lb (500g) penne pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 10 oz (300ml) 2% milk (semi-skimmed)
- 10 oz (300ml) mushroom stock
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp butter
- 14 oz (400g) button mushrooms, halved
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp hot chilli flakes
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 5 oz (142g) container of Earthbound Farms Organic Spinach+Bok Choy (or Spinach+Kale)
- 6 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
- 60 g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and potato cubes. Return to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 8 minutes until the cauliflower and potatoes are soft. Use a slotted spoon or spider strainer to remove the cauliflower & potatoes from the water and place into a full-size blender.
Using the same pot and water, add the pasta and bring back up to a boil (adding more water if required). Lower the heat to simmer and cook the pasta for 2/3 of the package recommended time (do not cook fully). Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water. Strain and set aside. Return the pot to the stove.
While the pasta cooks, carefully place the lid on the blender and blend until cauliflower & potatoes are mostly smooth.
Combine the milk and stock together in a saucepan or microwaveable container and warm through.
In the drained pasta pot, add 3 tbsp of olive oil, along with the flour. Stir over a medium heat until smooth and cook for 1 minute. Gradually pour the warmed liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, into the flour paste in the pot, stir until smooth before adding next portion of liquid. Once all the liquid has been added, simmer over medium-low heat for 2 minutes (mixture will remain relatively thin, not saucy).
Pour the hot contents of the pot into the blender with the cauliflower mixture and add the Dijon mustard. Ensure the lid stays on and blend until silky, smooth and thick. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 335°F convect bake (350°F regular bake).
In a 5 quart (12 inch) ovenproof skillet or sauté pan, heat the butter over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to shrink and release liquid (about 5 minutes). Next add the garlic, thyme, chilli flakes and a pinch of salt to the frying pan, turn the heat down to low and cook for 1 minute. Add the Spinach+Bok Choy to the pan, cover with a lid and steam for 3-5 minutes until the greens have wilted. Remove from the heat.
Add the pasta to the pan and toss to coat. Add the sauce and stir to fully combine sauce, pasta, mushrooms & greens.
Mix the topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle over the pasta. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the sauce is gently bubbling and the topping is slightly browned.
If desired, turn on the broiler for the last 3 or 4 minutes for a crispier top… but watch carefully and don’t let it burn!!
Divide between bowls and serve hot.