The only thing I knew about paprikash was that line out of “When Harry Met Sally.” (You know, “Waiter! There is too much pepeerrrr on my paaaprikaaaash!”)
I had a nice mid-sized head of cauliflower in the refrigerator, which I was saving for making gobi gosht. Leafing through Molly Katzen’s Enchanted Broccoli Forest, I found a recipe for cauliflower paprikash. It had the magic preparation time of under one hour (30 minutes, if you’re efficient), so I decided to try it.
Came out pretty well! I ate it with some baby spinach salad I tossed with sweet peppers, tomatoes, a bit of crumbled goat cheese and fat-free balsamic vinaigrette.
1 medium cauliflower
1 Tbs. Plus 1 tsp. Butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups sour cream (I used light sour cream)
1 Tbs. Horseradish
1 Tbs. Mild paprika
3/4 tsp. Salt
fresh black pepper to taste
1 lb. Wide egg noodles (I used whole-wheat pappardelle pasta)
2 Tbs. Poppy seeds (I omitted those )
2 Tbs. Minced fresh dill
2 Tbs. Minced fresh chives
extra paprika for the top
Cut cauliflower into 1 inch florets. Steam until just tender. Set aside.
Melt 1 Tbs. Butter in a medium-large saucepan. Add the onion, and sauté over medium heat until it begins to soften (5 to 8 minutes). Turn the heat to very low. Add the sour cream and horseradish to the onion, and beat well with a whisk. Cook and stir over very low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in paprika, salt, pepper, and the cooked cauliflower. Set aside until shortly before serving time.
Just before serving, cook the noodles in plenty of boiling water until just tender. (If necessary, gently reheat the sauce while the noodles cook. Don’t let it boil!) Drain the noodles, and transfer them to a large serving bowl. Toss immediately with 1 tsp. Butter and the poppy seeds. Spoon the sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle the top with dill, chives, and a little extra paprika. Serve right away.
Also, on that plate there is a half-sour pickle. If you don’t know what a half-sour pickle is, but you’re a pickle lover, you need to try this, ASAP. I grew up knowing these types of pickles as a crispy, refreshing staple of Russian home-cooking. Usually, the brine has less vinegar, more dill and often has garlic added for flavor. Trader Joe’s seems to be carrying them now.