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I'm So Very Groovy: A Braise of Cauliflower Stems and Leaves


Like a lot of people, I have cauliflower fever. One of my favorite things to make these days is cauliflower rice. I've had people ask me to suggest a brand but I am very confused. It couldn't be easier to make. You just grate it and cook it in browned butter or olive oil for about 10 minutes. I've also heard it's a mess. Just grate it in a large bowl. It's that simple. And there's no packaging waste. And you can grate exactly the amount you want. I know a lot of people like to use their food processor but mine is in the basement collecting dust. If I were having a big party or it was easier to clean, I'd consider this method. Until then, I just grate.

The rice is made with just the florets and this leaves you with a lot of the big stalks and some of the greens. They can be woody but mostly they're fine. After a few heads of cauliflower, you can have quite the collection and I've been saving them up all week.

I chopped them and then added them to a casserole pot with sauteed onion and garlic. This pot is a favorite rarity from Los Reyes Metzontle in Puebla but you can use any pot you like. If not clay, enameled cast iron, like Le Cruset, is probably a good choice. You want to go low and slow.

At some point I added salt, pepper, and thyme.

I was prepared to go longer but an hour was about right. The pieces hold their shape and look as if they'd be tough but they just melt in your mouth. Being forever cheap, I mean, value oriented, the best part of this is that these are parts of the caulliflower than most most people toss. So it's like getting a meal for free. Hey, you get your kicks where you can!

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