23 March, 2018
It’s A Cabbage… It’s A Flower… It’s A Cauliflower!
Have you ever experienced the odor from a cauliflower field when it’s past its prime? A farm near our house hadn’t cleared the fields and let the cauliflower disintegrate on the vine. Ohh the smell was awful!! I even avoided the streets that bordered that field so I wouldn’t get the rotten field stench. It kept me from buying cauliflower for at least a month.
I did some research on how to grow cauliflower to try to figure out why the farmer would leave cauliflower to rot in the field. I didn’t find a satisfactory answer. Interesting fact (from Wikipedia) is how the cauliflower got its name. “The origin of the name is from the Latin word caulis (cabbage) and flower. Cauliflower is relatively difficult to grow compared to cabbage, with common problems such as an underdeveloped head and poor curd quality.” So it’s a cabbage? (Well, that might explain why it smelled so bad in the fields.)
Another thing I found interesting about cauliflower, “Typically, only the head is eaten – the edible white flesh is sometimes called “curd” (similar appearance to cheese curd).” So it resembles cheese curds, I get that, but where does the “flower” fit into the name? I’m confused.
But wait, here’s more… there are four major groups of cauliflower, Italian is one of them along with Asian, Northern European annuals, and Northwest European biennial. One hundred grams of raw white cauliflower is only 25 calories, is low in fat, sugar, and carbohydrates. (See chart.) To read more about this vegetable and how it is grown here is a link to Wikipedia.
Well, I have to admit it is a versatile vegetable in how it is cooked and used with meals. I needed a quick side dish, and it was on sale at the market, so cauliflower wiggled its way back into my kitchen and on today’s menu. The recipe is simple with just a few ingredients and can be put together in a matter of minutes. And no sacrificing flavor!
I like to cook the cauliflower with a little char on it but feel free to cook it to your desired doneness.
The smokiness of the bacon contrasts with the sweetness of the craisins and the savory of the onions.
You can see that these vegetables were piping hot off the stove.
- 1 head of cauliflower broken into bite-sized pieces
- 1 strip of bacon (regular, turkey or pepper flavored) I used pepper bacon
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped (red, white, green, or yellow) I used white & red
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Option: dash of Mediterranean sea salt
- Option: handful of craisins for topping
- Crisp up bacon in a fry pan, chopping into bits when cooked and drained.
- Cut up cauliflower head into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- Warm olive oil in fry pan, add onions and cook until translucent.
- Add cauliflower pieces and sauté until fork tender but still firm.
- Finish by adding bacon bits and craisins if you desire. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix all ingredients together, plate, and serve.