A cauliflower challenge

A while back I mentioned picking up some new kale variety seeds. One was called Portuguese Kale and featured very large, soft leaves. It looked great in the catalog but it’s never certain the plants will actually look the same from your own garden. In this case they really do. We’ve got a hot spell ahead of us and that’s not ideal for kale but I’ve seen enough already to know these plants will become spectacular if planted at the right time. And as advertised, they are more like chard than Kale.

There was an interesting (to me) article in the WSJ about the new popularity of cauliflower. It’s the new “kale” and fits into a number of the newer popular diets as a protein. The statistics in terms of growth are incredible but I found one line in the article particularly interesting. I guess it’s easy and fast to grow and quite a bit of it is now growing in California. The article mentioned lots of uses for cauliflower rice and cauliflower based pizza dough is selling like crazy. Apparently people are using the greens in salads. When you grow a head of cauliflower there’s a large bundle of green leaves that come with it. For me it makes the compost pile but apparently it’s showing up in mixed salad greens. That also tells me it would be useable in smoothies although there was no mention of that. I think this year I grew 10 plants but next year I’ll double that. There’s 3 left in the garden now and I just found a cauliflower – rigatoni recipe that sounds great so we’re ending the season with a bang.

Ok, this is the very last tomato sauce production day. I keep thinking the tomatoes are finishing up and the neighbors are picking but when I checked this morning there was a load of vine ripened beauties ready for the sauce pan. And at least half of them are plum tomatoes, grown specifically for sauce. If we were suddenly cutoff from the civilian world, we would have enough pasta sauce and pasta/pasta making goodies to last us at least a couple of months. I don’t have a count, but would bet there are close to 50 Talenti pints and a handful of large ziplock bags ready to eat.

UPDATE

I made the cauliflower recipe mentioned above. It definitely was a test of my ability with lots going on – 3 pans on the stove top plus the pasta water, plus a 475 degree oven – all at the same time. Lot’s of timing issues. It split the cauliflower into two piles – 3/4 to be roasted and 1/4 to be added raw much later in the process. Even had to make croutons from raw bread – a first for me. I knew this was going to be a stress test so requested that Nancy stay clear of the kitchen until dinner was served. She did and I managed to pull it off. The good news is that it was delicious and there was plenty for a “left over” meal.

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