Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Simple Cauliflower

For the last day of the countdown, something simple: lightly cooked cauliflower.

Cooking up the cauliflower

Sauteed cauliflower with red pepper flakes and  Parmigiano-Reggiano is another family favorite. It's easy enough for a weeknight (which is usually when my mother would make it as a side with pork cutlets), but delicious enough for your Thanksgiving table. You can put it together on the stovetop while your turkey is resting.

This is one of my all-time favorite side dishes so I was very excited when some cauliflower ended up in my CSA box. I'd been hoping for it for awhile since I knew it was in season, but cauliflower is a temperamental crop and therefore less abundant than other members of the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale.

Cauliflower has its roots in Asia Minor, but has been popular in Italy and Turkey for centuries. (What is it with me and vegetables that are popular in Italy?) Anyhow, I could see this cauliflower being an Italian recipe…I need to ask Mom where she got it. But here it is for you:

Simple Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
3 T olive oil
red pepper flakes to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano (or other hard cheese) to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add cauliflower and red pepper flakes. Cook until cauliflower is tender. (If the cauliflower starts to brown up before it becomes tender, cover the skillet to help the tenderizing process along.) Serve topped with grated cheese.

Well, folks, that’s the last recipe of the series because Thanksgiving is TOMORROW! Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed the Countdown to Thanksgiving and will return for more recipes after the holiday. If you make any of these recipes for Thanksgiving or just a weeknight dinner, please leave comments with your results. Let me know what you like! This is a great time of year for sharing experiences in the kitchen as well as favorite recipes. Feel free to treat this as a forum to do so.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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