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Ingredient: Cauliflower

You knew I had to come out with a vegetable this week after all of that meat.

Does it surprise you that cauliflower turns up in Lebanese cuisine? It’s there, in virtually every Lebanese cookbook I own, as well as on our table in a few simple, but delicious, dishes. There is nothing more mouth-watering than listening to my mother talk about her mother’s cooking, especially her fried cauliflower. Grandma Alice Abowd never met a food she didn’t know how to cook—and beyond that, how to bring out the best in it. She died when I was only eight, but that doesn’t cloud my memories of her famous sweet tooth (when we visited her home in Ohio, she’d call out at night as we got ready for bed, “Who wants a brown cow?!”–her root beer floats were creamy, dreamy), and her basement filled with homemade turnip and cauliflower pickles. I remember chocolate-covered pretzels too, and toys for the grandchildren to play with.

This week we are going to make cauliflower served as an appetizer or a side dish: fried, with a light, smooth, you-just-can’t-get-enough tahini sauce. This cruciferous vegetable is still going strong up here in northern Michigan at the farm market. Select heads of cauliflower that are firm and that don’t have dark spots on them. If spots can’t be avoided, don’t worry–you can trim them out later. The fun colored cauliflower, purple and gold, available now will work nicely too. Pick some up soon (along with your tahini) so you can try this preparation, which I bet will become a favorite…cauliflower need not be blah! It’s so good for us too, full of nutrients.

Cauliflower bounty at Bill’s Farm Market.

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1 Comment

  1. Patti Markho on September 27, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    I didn’t know cauliflower came in such beautiful colors – can’t wait to read your next entry!

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