Lately, I find myself staring at creamy white, firm heads of cauliflower in the market and then pass them by for lack of inspiration. Well, not this week. Enough is enough. I boldly pounce on the most beautiful head of cauliflower in the stack and set it my cart.
I was walking through the Portland Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago and did a double take on a stack of orange cauliflower. I adore cauliflower (the earthy flavor, the crunchy or creamy texture), and the only nit I can pick with this lovely vegetable is its color. It gets lost on a white plate and looks pallid and unimaginative next to other basic ingredients I love, such as potatoes, rice, pasta, and poultry.
The combination of tender cauliflower, creamy sauce, crisp bacon, smoky flavor, melted cheese, and crunchy topping make this dish especially appealing, as well as comforting at some deep level. It is the kind of dish I can imagine Julia and Paul Child eating half a century ago in their Paris apartment. And yes, I just saw Julie and Julia. ?