Cauliflower is not yet played.
I ignored cauliflower for a long, long time. Raw, it was oddly numbing and tasteless. Steamed was worse. Even with butter, it would be a non-entity on the plate, pushed aside for more tasty veggies that offered even a hint of color or flavor. To describe the taste of cauliflower seemed like a pathetic venture at best.
But then I read a recipe last year for roasted cauliflower. Said that just a dash of salt, some olive oil and some high, prolonged heat made the florets into what they called “cauliflower candy.” Interesting. I like candy. I gave it a shot.
And I’ve been converted. Roasted cauliflower is ridiculous. Crazy tasty. I went further.
I started making cauliflower soup. Added some crispy shallots and shallot oil. A little prociutto. I found chedder cauliflower. Purple cauliflower. Green too. I experimented with romanesco. At one point in August I probably had at least three assorted cauliflowers in my fridge at one time I was cauliflower mad.
But I learned I wasn’t alone. Other people had joined the floret bandwagon and then I read that somehow, somewhere cauliflower had become the hip vegetable of 2007. And that killed me. I didn’t realize I’d been riding the same trend, that I had fallen victim of produce fashion. I crossed off cauliflower from my CSA order.
But something happened. I craved it. I read about something called cauliflower steaks. And if there’s one thing I like more than candy, it’s steaks.
So I put them back on the list. I cut the head cross-wise into 1” steaks, salt and peppered them and cooked ‘em in a pan for 4 minutes a side. Then into the oven to bake at 250° for 10 minutes. The result? Magic. Cauliflower candy gives way to a cauliflower main course. Cauliflower is back on my plate and I’m not looking back, damn it.
Posted by canolive at 12:31 PM