Tag Archives: cooking

Roasted Cauliflower & Leeks with Arugula Pesto Pasta

As of late, there is one single factor that will motivate me to create in the kitchen – ingredients on their last leg, vegetables that may not live to see another crisp, fresh-feeling day.

Last week I purchased fennel, leeks and cauliflower to get the wheels turning. These aren’t frequent fridge visitors in our kitchen; a new ingredient means that I must make a new recipe, right? Exactly.


Leeks were part of a list that was intended to create a Cassoulet, but that hasn’t happened yet. I can’t even recall the last time they stared at me from the fridge; who does this vegetable pair with? Where should it go? What does it taste like??

I sliced away, and made the assumption that this can be roasted, just like anything else. I also made the assumption that it can be friends with cauliflower, because that was to be roasted as well. Add in a blend of herbs, spices and oil, and you’re bound to have some sort of kitchen success!


Roasted Cauliflower & Leeks

Heat oven to 400* and prepare a baking sheet with oil (spray or rub).

Slice 2 leeks; remove one head of cauliflower from the stalk, and cut into smaller florets. Combine in a bowl, and season with flavors of your choice!

I went with cayenne pepper (perhaps a bit too much…), nutmeg & cumin. I loved this blend, but could’ve gone a little lighter on that kicker. Add in 1 Tbsp olive oil, and mix well.

Roast for 35-40 minutes total – stirring at least every 10 minutes to prevent burning (see picture below – I could’ve done a few more “stirs”).


Arugula Pesto Pasta

Meanwhile, get going on the rest of the dish!

Linguine Noodles (I made ~4 servings worth)
3 cups fresh arugula leaves
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
Salt/Pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp Chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)– optional
1-2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese – also optional, I skipped it this time, but it’s part of a traditional pesto recipe

Cook pasta as directed. While it’s boiling, put the remaining ingredients in a Food processor and pulse until smoothly combined.

Once the pasta is cooked (al dente, of course), drained and ready to go, combine it all into one bowl.


This has {hopefully just} a hint of spice from the roasted vegetables, but a settling, simple pleasure in the taste of arugula pesto-coated noodles.

An entirely new dish to our kitchen’s repertoire, and an entirely new way (for me) to use leeks,cauliflower and arugula (love that peppery leaf!). This is definitely filed under “experimental win!”.

What have you experimented with lately?

Any tips for leek-using to share? Next time it will either go in that cassoulet, or into a soup.


Filed under dinners, food, recipes