Though not at the farm much, I am still determined to snap a few pix of this awe-inspiring bounty we call the 2009 garden. Presenting: Cauliflower!
I must admit that there are certain vegetables I have a hard time wrapping my mind around in any context beyond the misty produce section. Sure, a lot of us have planted tomatoes in pots or seen beans and peas climbing up a neighbor's trellis. But other delectables seem so much more the purview of serious agricultural enterprises - rows upon rows of cabbage, for instance, settle on the mind more readily than a collection of the dense heads in the backyard next to the basil.
And so it is with cauliflower. Who grows cauliflower? Well, we did. It's one of the vegetables that we never seem to work into our dinners, so I figured if we grew it, we'd have to eat it and broccoli could finally have a bit of a rest. Usually sharing some grocery shelf real estate with the ubiquitous broccoli, cauliflower is heavier and almost always more expensive. I never see it in anyone's cart, so I wonder how it survives as a commodity.
But, once again, what the knife hacks off in the personal garden looks very little like the cellophane-entombed cousin found at the store. Not snowy white and dense as a rock, our first cauliflower is tinged with purple, its florets a little twisty and distinct. The flavor is mild but, again, distinct, and the crunch is authentic and satisfying. Yummy roasted with just-pulled carrots alongside halibut, its next test will determine how it fares in a creamy 5-ingredient soup.