Monday, November 07, 2005

my husband steals vegetables

Mr. M didn't have to work last week and one morning decided to go for a long walk with our dear neighbour who has been walking 3-4 hours per day in an effort to keep fit since an arm injury forced him to take early retirement several years ago.

Their walk this time took them across the fields to the neighbouring town, around a small mountain and back again and just imagine my surprise when Mr. M arrived home with a fine, fresh cauliflower, a green cabbage and a lovely head of lettuce. I gathered that the neighbour had brought back the same, with a red cabbage thrown in for good measure.

We live in a sort of rural area with fields all around and about 3 km between each small town. Just a few blocks from our house there's a pasture full of sheep (and a brothel disguised as a hotel, but that's another story) and it's not unusual to get stuck behind a tractor on any given day.

After the fields are harvested in the fall, any vegetables that are left behind just get tilled under (or whatever the agricultural term is - I am not a farmer's wife) and become one with the soil again. Before this happens, clever people like our neighbour steal help themselves to the green stuff. Carrots, cabbage, lettuce, potatoes, cauliflower- it's all out there just waiting to be gathered up. No one seems to mind and I've never heard of anyone getting in trouble for it, so I suppose it's all right.

So there we were, stuck with yet another cauliflower. Yawn. Cauliflower is my husband's favourite vegetable. He loves it plain with a little salt and butter. The rest of us like it all right, just not too often. I have to admit I find it quite blah and lacking in character, even with cheese sauce. Which is why I often make this Much More Exciting Sauce to go on mine.

Cauliflower (or Potatoes) with Paprika Garlic Sauce

1 medium cauliflower (preferably stolen from a field near you)
1 T olive oil
3 med. cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T sweet paprika
2 T red wine or sherry vinegar (depening on the acidity of your vinegar, I would start out with less and add more to taste)

Steam cauliflower pieces over boiling water until tender. Cover and set aside to keep warm, reserving cooking water for later use. Heat oil in skillet, add garlic and cook, turning often, for several minutes until lightly browned. Turn off heat and leave oil in skillet. Put garlic cloves in mortar and pound with half of parsley and several pinches of salt, forming a coarse paste. Place drained cauliflower on platter. Return skillet to low heat and stir in paprika, vinegar, 1/4 c. cauliflower cooking water and the garlic-parsley paste. Cook, stirring gently to combine ingredients and thicken sauce slightly. Pour sauce over cauliflower and garnish with remaining parsley. Enjoy with a guilty conscience.


At November 07, 2005 3:30 p.m., Blogger SwissTwist said...

I confess.. I looooovvveee cauliflower. To make it more interesting, smother it in Thomy Gratin sauce and bake it in the oven *drool* I have it as a meal on its own sometimes..

At November 07, 2005 3:56 p.m., Anonymous bangkok expat mama said...

i can't wait to try your recipe! i grew up with cauliflower served either raw in a salad (blah and dry) or smothered in cheese sauce (delicious but boring). this sauce will be a nice change. plus, i have loads of paprika because my husband brought a tub of it back from a project in budapest a couple months ago. there's only so much chicken paprikas i can make!

At November 07, 2005 4:20 p.m., Blogger Sparky said...

God, I hate Cauliflower - especially the smell ALL OVER THE HOUSE after one prepares it!

However, i am pleased to hear that you guys ALSO have a brothel practically across the street - Jan's bound to feel a lot better now about our own neighborhood :).

At November 07, 2005 4:49 p.m., Blogger J said...

HA! Evil food posting woman, you didn't make me hungry this time by posting a recipe. I read it just after I ate lunch!

At November 07, 2005 4:56 p.m., Blogger Sal DeTraglia said...

Ummm...that the bottom of your is a cauliflower, right? Because it kind might be misconstrued as...oh forget it. I best keep my mouth shut.


At November 07, 2005 5:16 p.m., Blogger Philip said...

I didn't think those two words could go together: love and cauliflower.

I guess if you saute anything with garlic and olive oil it can be made palatable . . .

At November 07, 2005 5:40 p.m., Blogger Cathy said...

oh lucky you...our vegetables are getting incredibly expensive again. I wish there was some field I could walk to and steal (help myself to)some fresh veggies!
have a great week.

At November 07, 2005 6:10 p.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Tell you probably won't believe me, but my favourite veggies are: Spinach and brussel sprouts!!! O.o

At November 07, 2005 7:01 p.m., Blogger traveller one said...

I love cauliflower raw with a great dip! But my favourite vegie is brussel sprouts!
Cute posting!

At November 07, 2005 9:56 p.m., Anonymous mar said...

I like cauliflower but I am the only one around here. I should try your recipe!

At November 07, 2005 10:26 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Well, just like with brussels sprouts it looks like it's either love or hate - there's just no in between.

And Sal! I'm absolutely dying to know what you're seeing in that perfectly innocent cauliflower cartoon. :-)

At November 08, 2005 6:37 a.m., Blogger Bernadette said...

Your husband was gleaning the cauliflower - it's Biblical! I love it, too!

At November 08, 2005 9:17 a.m., Anonymous Belinda said...

You know, there are two kinds of people in the world. Those that love cauliflower and those that love broccoli. I'm the former and I can't STAND broccoli. Essentially they're the same sort of veggie I think?!

I'm totally with swisstwist- the gratin sauce is to die for. You can't even really taste the cauliflower under the cheese.

(as a side note I'd like to say: before the corn fields were harvested here, my man and I helped ourselves to a few)

it must be a Germany thing because I'd never done that before!!

At November 08, 2005 12:59 p.m., Blogger Antipodeesse said...

It must be a guy thing! French Hubby came home one night all muddy (and a tiny bit inebriated), with muddy carrots and lettuces for me! So romantic!!


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