Quinoa Spaghetti w/ Cauliflower, Rosemary & Brown Butter

Last week I met up with a friend for an early dinner in Brentwood. We tend to go to the same few restaurants and in the attempt to try somewhere different, I suggested a really cute macrobiotic cafe that just opened. The only reason I brought up this place was because 1) it's new and 2) has the whole white subway tiles + marble look that automatically makes me willing to give it a shot. This type of food normally doesn't bother me either–I'll always find something. 

Wrong.

We were the only two customers and as we were reading the menu and being waited on by the overzealous cashier, I really just couldn't see myself spending the 1.5 hours of my life in that room eating that food. Do you ever get that way at restaurants?  My friend was trying samples and the more time we spent standing there, the more I felt like the employees were counting on our order. Especially because it seemed owner-operated.

I was craving simple, some sort of noodle, but the menu was all over the place. There was a lot going on– muddled flavors, not-my-style of texture combinations....Luckily my friend is easy going and totally could pick up my vibes, so we just left.

Of course we ended up going opposite and splitting a turkey burger and rosemary fries at Suzanne Goin's (of A.O.C. & LucquesTavern, and made it out before the divorcee crowd came rolling in. 

I know it's the former restaurant worker in me, but I really do hope that the cute cafe will do well. I have such a soft spot for new restaurants that clearly put a lot of energy and money into a space, especially in high rent neighborhoods. I'm definitely going to give breakfast a shot there.  Plus, I've heard that Ms. Macrobiotic, Gwyneth herself, has moved back to town, so hopefully they'll have someone?!?!  

In realizing want I really wanted, I just took to making it myself the following day:

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Quinoa Spaghetti w/ Cauliflower, Rosemary & Brown Butter

serves 4

  • 12 ounces quinoa spaghetti
  • 2 heads cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons brown butter

Heat oven to 425 F. Bring large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

–Cut the cauliflower into 1 inch florets and toss with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and roast 25-30 minutes until golden brown and tender. Set the bowl you used for the aside.

–Meanwhile, generoulsy salt the pasta water and cook until al dente.  When you drain, lightly toss the pasta with olive oil so it doesn't stick.

–Place the same pot back on the stove and heat until all liquid is dry. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil and sweat the onions until translucent. Add the minced garlic and when you can smell the garlic (about a minute), turn off the heat. Stir in the chopped rosemary and then the lemon juice.  

–In a separate small saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter, mixing until brown.  If you choose high heat to do this, just watch as it will turn brown to black quickly.

–Stir the roasted cauliflower, spaghetti and brown butter into the onion mixture. Gently mix everything together and serve!

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