Cauliflower, and My ‘Hood
I bought it for its looks, OK? I bought it because it was an intriguing shade of lime green. I bought it because of the light. Cauliflower: what should I do with you? I just never know.
Before I bought it, I took myself on a forced-stroll through my neighbourhood. These days, with all the marking, you could stay in for days and you’d barely make a dent. You could work from dawn til dusk. You could turn into stone.
It was raining, which, as an art teacher once taught me, actually creates more intense colour. With my camera as my third eye, I saw things I might not have noticed otherwise, like the prayer flags, perched among the last yellow leaves, across the street from my house.
It’s funny, this neighbourhood, in its gentle, early gentrification phase. New cafes spring up daily, while I sleep. Zoot’s cafe – who knew?
The last of the yellow leaves of fall hung delicately from tree branches.
The trees that were bare revealed graffiti and murals that I hadn’t even really seen before.
I bought cauliflower, arugula, carrots, chard, and fancy parmesan cheese at the farmer’s market.
Picnic tables sat forlornly in the failing light.
A little girl in rubber boots lingered in a puddle, trying to delay the dark.
I got home and made a hippie-ish quiche with cauliflower, chard and cheddar cheese. Night fell, and gold squares of light illuminated all the houses across the way.
My mother boils her cauliflower, and then tosses it with butter and breadcrumbs.
At Thanksgiving I made a roasted cauliflower soup that everyone adored.
Cauliflower: what should I do?
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
1 medium cauliflower
1 yellow onion (I used 2 leeks)
2 cloves of garlic
2 medium potatoes
500 ml stock (vegetable or chicken)
500 ml water
3/4 tbsp cream (I actually used soya milk)
salt, cayenne pepper
Heat the oven to 175°C. Divide the cauliflower into florets, and put in an oven proof pan. Drizzle with some olive oil and toss to coat. Cut the onion into wedges, and wrap in a bit of foil with the cloves of garlic. Put the foil packet in the same pan as the cauliflower, and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft.
Move the cauliflower, onion and garlic to a large pot. Dice the potatoes and add them. Cover with stock and water, and let simmer on medium heat until the potatoes are completely soft. It will take 20-30 minutes. Use a handheld blender to mix the soup until smooth. Add cream, and season with salt and cayenne pepper.
I like to make a crumb topped gratin with cauliflower – delish, easy and make ahead.