I just got back from my 5-year college reunion, and I’m thinking my body needs some R&R. I don’t think I ate too poorly. There was that midnight thin-crust pizza, many many handfuls of grapes, lots of Yale “specialties” like tofu saag, watery chana masala, and sweet potatoes with wheatberries and dried cranberries. Oh, then there was the Berkshire pork and the artichoke olive salad and…yeah… there was a lot. Considering it’s college cafeteria food, it was all pretty tasty and healthy and I’m not afraid to say I ate a lot of it.Still, there was that constant open bar. I wanted something super-clean for a post-reunion detox. The “rice” is made with finely diced cauliflower, softened with salt and time. Add some beans for some clean plant protein, and a dash of truffle oil. Not to be fancy or anything, but to give the vegetal a more voluptuous mouthfeel. You won’t find this rice and beans in any sort of soul food restaurant. But you might find it at Yale, where they once served a tofu apple crisp which spawned a Facebook group called, “Apple crisp with TOFU?!? Seriously, WTF?!?”
Recipe: Put 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cauliflower head in your Vitamix (the water makes it easier for the blades to catch the cauliflower). Turn on the lowest setting and dice to your desired consistency. Make sure not to liquify. Drain cauliflower. Add black beans, salt, truffle oil and cayenne to taste. Let sit for 3-4 hours for cauliflower to soften and flavors to develop. Serves 2 as a side dish or 1 as a main.