Monday, July 14, 2008

A Colorful Plate

When I go to my little produce market, my "to buy" list is lacking in specifics. Sure, I'll list certain types of oils or dairy product needed for a recipe, but besides that, I let what catches my eye dictate what leaps into my basket. Lately, I've been grabbing anything that looks like it came out of a Crayola box.

Roasted cauliflower has become an almost weekly offering at casa de wildtomato. Luckily, cauliflower is locally grown year round in these parts, so these nutty, creamy, and a little bit crispy treats can be devoured without a second thought. How do you roast cauliflower? Before you start, turn on your oven to 400 degrees F. Then, cut the cauliflower heads into similarly sized floweretes, toss them in a single layer onto a cast iron skillet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt. The whole sheebang goes into the oven for at least 30 minutes. I'll open the oven door and give the skillet a good shake a few times during the process, too, to ensure that lots of cauliflower bits get crispy. It is done when you can pierce it with a fork and it is tender. I vary my cooking time a lot because you can leave it in the oven until it is just on the cusp of tender or buttery smooth. It just depends what mood I'm in or if I forget to set the timer.

Huckleberry potatoes have been a huge treat this season. Armed with my favorite cookbook, I made a huckleberry potato gratin with emmentaler cheese to accompany the roasted cauliflower.

My colorful food experiment flopped with this dish: pain au chou. Translation? Cabbage loaf. It sounds better in French, oui? The recipe, also in my favorite cook book, was fine. It was my loose interpretation that did us in. The dish was bland and I did not have enough of the custardy filling for the amount of cabbage I had on hand. I was able to salvage it by adding some chevre to the mix. Still, it wasn't one of my proudest moments.

I had to make another blueberry coffee cake to feel better. This time, I used a round form factor.

Meanwhile, Vespa and Mingus have been bugging me to make them some canned squirrel. They said that they would be very good dogs if only I would give them a little taste of this delicacy. Yes, really! Squirrel is mentioned in my canning book, so that is how I know it is authentic.

In other news, Fifty-Fifty is getting some rest before her next modeling gig. Expect a new International Cat Hat soon.


  1. Am I seeing purple cauliflower in this dish? Or is it cabbage? I'm hoping it's cauliflower...that's exciting!

  2. No, you are not seeing things. I had purple and orange cauliflower in the roasting pan!

  3. Mmm, yummy in my tummy. Again.

    Everytime I read about your favorite food delights, and cabbgical creations, I find myself searching for something in the fridge to eat. I guess I'll nibble on some feta, (which is not pain au chou). Not even when I use my imagination. :(

    Looks and sounds, delicious! Whether in French, English, or even using our "inside voice."

  4. I am SO making the roasted cauliflower and the blueberry coffee cake soon! Looks delicious!

  5. you didn't really can any squirrels, did you?

  6. Thanks for the link to the coffee cake! That will be my next blueberry adventure. I have a bumper crop this year, and a blueberry cobbler in the oven at this very moment (recipe on my blog; love how knitting and food go together!).

    I came to your blog through Ravelry; one of my friends queued one of your cat hats and I had to know more!

  7. wildtomato you are an awesome knitter, cook and pet mom! Thanks for sharing all of your beautiful pics of all your beautiful creations. I will share the title of one of my favorite cookbooks with you: The Complete Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetable Cooking by Roz Denny, et al. I hope you like it half as much as I do. There is a wonderful picture of each dish. Bon appetite.

  8. Why thank you, anonymous! I'll check out that book soon!

  9. Wildtomato, you are so welcome. I see they are selling copies on Amazon for less than $4 which is a bargain because I think I paid about $20 for mine several years ago.



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