Saturday, September 18, 2010

Gratineed cauliflower with butter and parmesan

I've been trying to eat more veges. I like the idea of basing every meal I have around one. To me, that is what mediterranean cooking is all about. This week I have been having a fair crack and have cooked 2 eggplants, a head of broccoli, a sweet potato, and, tonight, a head of cauliflower.

You have to boil the bugger for 20 minutes to make it soft. Modern home cooks, in Australia at least, do not boil their vegetables like this for perceived health reasons. But I really like boiled broccoli tossed with salt, pepper and olive oil (about 5 minutes). And Marcella does the same with boiled cauliflower, although I think she tosses hers with red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt.

This is a gratineed dish. My favourite gratineed dish is that of potatoes from Alice Waters Art of Simple Food. It is absolutely delicious. I have been dreaming of cauliflower all day, so it seemed like a good choice.

I wasn't really sure how much cheese to put on, as I didn't weigh my head. I just grated an amount I thought was generous. Similarly with the butter, although I did not want to go overboard with that.

So how did it taste? Not as obviously delicious as my potato gratin, and I initially thought it was a bit dry. But it drew me in, and the parts that had cheese or butter contributing to it were less dry. In all, it was an enjoyable way to eat a cauliflower head, and I'm going to be making it again to improve how I put it together. None remained, which I think is the ultimate test of a vegetable dish of this size.

We ate it with pan fried steak chopped and tossed with garlic and parsley, which is something from Giuliano Hazan's blog. It was ok although I would cut down on the garlic next time.

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