Homemade: Spaghetti With Cauliflower, Butter, and Pepper

This is sad but true: I don’t buy cauliflower too often, because when it comes to preparation, I’m pretty much stuck in the ’70s: Clean it, break it into florets, and dip it in ranch dressing. But last week, I couldn’t resist the absolutely gorgeous cauliflower available at local farmers market. Vendors had heirloom varieties that were tangerine and purple. I opted for purple at $2 a head.

Despite my enthusiasm, the cauliflower sat in my fridge for more than a week until I happened on a recipe in Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Every Day, a date book with recipes. I keep this book on my coffee table, not as a calendar for appointments but as an easy reference for seasonal cooking. Typically, Madison’s recipes sidestep the heavy cheese approach so common in vegetarian cooking.

Such was the case with Madison’s “Spaghetti with Cauliflower, Butter, and Pepper.” (Click here for the recipe originally published Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.) The pasta combines cauliflower with butter, toasted bread crumbs, coarse mustard, grated Parmesan, and fresh parsley (from my own garden!). I didn’t have bread crumbs, so I made my own out of whole-wheat Ak-maks, the original hippie cracker. (Like I said, cauliflower keeps me in the 70s.) I crushed the crackers with a rolling pin and seasoned them with a little garlic salt and basil.

The dish turned out to be easy to prepare, delicious to eat, and lovely to look at. Even my meat-centric husband had a second helping.

Susan at Hungry Memphis also has been intrigued with purple cauliflower. She made cauliflower ceviche, and the limes in the recipe turned the florets pink. Check it out here.

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