Skies are grey, rain sprinkles down, and storms are promised for the weekend. Do we feel gloomy? No! We’re thrilled. Let it rain, let it come.
Winter vegetables are now worth cooking. This past long summer, you had to get to the shuk early, before the produce wilted on the stands. Leafy greens had big holes in them where bugs had been noshing. Root vegetables looked stunted. But everything’s reviving with the colder nights and rain. Cauliflower and broccoli looked especially tempting this week, so I brought some of each home for lunch last week. I found inspiration for the recipe in one of my favorite sites, 101 Cookbooks.
Pan-Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli
1 small cauliflower
1 medium-sized bunch of broccoli
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove of garlic
Freshly-ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1. Cut away the leaves from the cauliflower (don’t throw them away) and cut the stem off. Break the head up into small florets no bigger than the first joint of your pinkie finger. Do the same with the broccoli. Keep the florets all about the same size, so that they’ll cook evenly. Rinse and drain.
2. Chop the scallions finely. Chop the garlic finely and use the edge of your knife to mash it.
3. Pour a dollop of olive oil into a large skillet and heat it up for a couple of minutes. Add the cauliflower and broccoli and stir gently to coat them with oil. Keep the flame medium-high. Leave the vegetables alone a minute or so, then lift a few to see if they’re starting to color at the bottom. If not, give it another minute. Sauté another five minutes , stirring gently.
4. Add the garlic and scallions and stir; cook only another minute. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
5. Remove from the heat. Grind a little pepper over all and stir in the lemon zest.
Serve right away.
.…So what’s with those cauliflower leaves?
Well, I’m always surprised that people throw them out. Steamed and with a little olive oil or butter drizzled over them, they’re a fine vegetable side dish.