Since I’ve been volunteering at the Pike Market Food Bank and Senior Center, I’ve been so priviledged to meet some of the most interesting people. Although we come from a variety of backgrounds, we are linked by our common desire to provide nourishing food for others. One such man is Ryan Miller, a chef, teacher, barista, and blogger. He is the host of the Pike Market Community Kitchen and a recipe writer. His blog is nothing short of brilliant, and I stray to his website frequently.

Last Thursday, he hosted the latest Community Kitchen. Each month, he selects and purchases produce from the Pike Place Market and surrounding businesses and teaches individuals how to cook the food. Always delicious and very original, the food at the classes will be sure to wow you. Be sure to catch the November 18th class!

Since there weren’t quite enough people to host a full class, he gave ingredients to particpants and asked them to follow the recipes at home. In my enthusiasm, I selected the meal that had lots and lots of vegetable chopping, a skill I need to work on for culinary classes.  I made the Near-Broccoli Naked Casserole.

The first odd thing about the vegetables in the casserole is the broccoflower, which I’d never seen before. It’s spiky and firm and looks like an elaborate headdress. It’s also called Romanesco broccoli, according to Wikipedia. It’s a bit more complicated looking than basic green broccoli, but it’s just as delicious. Ryan also gave me 2/3 pound Chanterelle mushrooms. Each of these required a medium or small dice. Yay…
Let’s say it took me longer (nearly an hour) to prep the recipe than to cook it. A lot of the time I spent was because I was trying to get exactly correct cuts, like 1/8 inch slices for julienne or 3/4 inch dice.  But boy, it was worth it!

Ryan has given me permission to copy his recipe here, but check his blog, because he has also included the other recipes he wrote for the Community Kitchen.

Near Broccoli Naked Casserole

Cooking skills focus: Knife skills, sauteeing, roasting, baking, balancing flavors


2 T cooking oil

1 onion, julienned

1/2 head garlic, cloves peeled & sliced

salt & pepper TT

1 1/2 # roma tomatoes, cored & diced large (3/4″ on a side)

2 T olive oil

salt & pepper TT

2 T cooking oil

2/3 # chanterelle mushrooms, quickly rinsed & dried, then diced small (1/4″ on a side)

salt & pepper TT

1 head broccoflower, diced medium (1/2″ on a side)

1 bunch broccoli rabe, 1/2″ inch trimmed off the end and sliced 1/2″ thick

3 T olive oil

salt & pepper TT

1 T Adobo spice blend, ground

1 lemon, juiced

2 C couscous

1 C water

salt & pepper TT

2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed well


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add the 2 T cooking oil. Add the onion and saute on high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic. Drop the heat to medium and saute for another 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Set the onons and garlic aside. Keep the saute pan out.

3. Toss the tomatoes with the 2 T olive oil in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a sheet pan. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Keep the bowl out.

4. Meanwhile, heat the saute pan again over high heat and add the next 2 T cooking oil. Add the mushrooms and saute for 6-8 minutes, or until browned and slightly crispy. Remove and set aside.

5. In the large bowl, combine the broccoflower, broccoli rabe, roasted tomatoes, sauteed onions and garlic, the 3 T olive oil, lemon juice, additional salt and pepper and Adobo spice blend.

6. Put the couscous in the bottom of a baking dish and add the water. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garbanzo beans, then put the vegetable layer on top of the beans.

7. Bake covered in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the couscous is fully cooked.

8. Top with the sauteed chanterelle mushrooms and serve.
Thanks Ryan!