I have been reading too many great food blogs lately. And…I admit it. I have coastal envy.
Reading many of the most popular blogs, most of which are based in Seattle, San Francisco, LA, and New York, I can’t help but feel kind of pained when someone shares how they just returned from such-and-such market and picked up beautiful specimens of (enter desirable vegetable here) that they are going to pair with a wonderful loaf of bread purchased from the corner bakery and some perfectly ripe cheese grown in a cave by silicone valley dropouts. When I go to the local grocery store in Dayton, Ohio, I don’t find locally grown much of anything this time of year.
I did, the other day, find some cauliflower. Not from any farm that has a name (other than Dole). Not organic. Just cauliflower.
Living in the Midwest the most common use for cauliflower is often the
cruelest: Crudité. At the end of any corporate function, a black plastic
catering tray will stand, picked clean, bowl scraped of dill dip, with only
cauliflower remaining. Even in this most humiliating of presentations,
cauliflower is further disgraced.
Additionally, cauliflower has been done no service by Simplot or Birds Eye frozen "California" blends. This mushy mixture of broccoli, cauliflower and waffle-cut carrots has been forced upon far too many grade school children, invalids, and wedding guests. The name alone is troubling to me (I hope that my idyllic vision of Californians eating organic, heirloom vegetables procured from an appropriately scruffy Berkeley grad can remain intact for the time being).
However, as I have seen
testament on many a post, cauliflower can be transformed. Simply roasted with
olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Tonight we incorporated the addition of fennel
and curry to create a more-than-satisfying side dish. Hey, I could have eaten
Hmm…I wonder what people in San Francisco are eating tonight? I'm sure it is beautiful and unavailable at the local Kroger.
Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel and Curry
1 Head Cauliflower cut
into ¼ inch slices
½ Bulb Fennel cut julienne
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
½ Teaspoon Curry Powder
½ Lemon, juiced
Sea or Kosher Salt to taste
Cracked Black Pepper to taste