In my creative kitchen leftovers are the perfect playground for creative masterpieces. I find it so easy to create “wow” appetizers for company by using little scraps of the previous night’s leftovers. I kid you not, the less I have the more creative I can get. Instead of having the supermarket at my disposal or a fully stocked kitchen at my disposal, I am left with less, making my body and mind go into instinct mode. Have you ever stood in your kitchen and let your instincts do the cooking? the guiding? the directing?
Friday night I was having my cousin come by for a True Blood Marathon and decided I would make a cauliflower pizza for the first time ever. And for that I went out and bought additional cauliflower. But I didn’t just want to serve that entree. Would that be enough? I wanted to add in an app. Appetizers are easy ways to practice your creative cooking skills in small servings.
In my fridge I had leftover homemade steamed cauliflower and garlic Marinara, 2 slices of turkey bacon, grape tomatoes and baked zucchini. I decided to save the zucchini for a topping on the pizza.
Mind you I served this cold. And I served it cold because hot was expected. I had never ever made this dish before, nor have I ever paired these ingredients together. For a moment I thought, “would this even be a good medley”? I quickly decided it would. How could it not? The ingredients together just sounded right. Thank you instincts. Cauliflower has been the veggie of the last two weeks for me. Once I realized just how much you can do with this amazing vegetable I have become obsessed in creating different dishes with it!
And this dish was a HIT. My guest thought it was a perfect appetizer to the cauliflower pizza. It was a taste of what was coming next, even though the next dish was prepared differently. I have to say I loved it too, and now I’m sharing it with you!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
2 slices of Turkey Bacon
6-7 Grape tomatoes, sliced
1 cup steamed cauliflower with 4-5 pieces of steamed garlic
1/4 cup Marinara Sauce (I used Rao’s)
CAULIFLOWER MARINARA DIRECTIONS:
1. Steam your cauliflower and garlic pieces. (this can be done in the microwave or stove top). You will need a large pot and a steamer to put inside the pot. Steamer should have little legs. Fill the pot with 1/4 inch water bring to a slow boil. Add cauliflower to the pot and cover for about 10 minutes or until fully steamed.
2. Heat Marinara sauce in a separate microwavable bowl and set aside to cool.
3. Add cauliflower to the Marinara mixture and coat.
TIPS: If you don’t just want to steam 1 cup of Cauliflower, steam the whole head. Wash it, slice it and steam all of it. Use the small amount for this dish and save the rest for another dish.
TURKEY BACON DIRECTIONS:
1. Quality is important, try and find a brand that does not use antibiotics, preservatives or thickeners. Most importantly use a gluten-free brand. I used Bell Evans.
2. Follow instructions on package for baking. I used a saute pan, lightly greased with PAM and added small amounts of water. Lay each piece next to each other and flip after 3 minutes on each side.
Additional sliced tomatoes should be raw.
The idea is to wrap the turkey bacon around the cauliflower marinara, and tomato slices. The steamed garlic is a garnish, but also meant to be eaten.