I've been thinking a lot about adaptation lately. And also about cauliflower. But...I am pretty much always thinking about cauliflower.
Anyone who follows my blog or knows me in person is familiar with my tendency to rhapsodize about the magical transformative abilities of humble cauliflower. From pizza to rice to tortillas to this layered lasagna thing I make every week (which I promise to eventually write about here) lower-carb, cauliflower-ified versions of high-carb starchy foods are my jam (and usually, my dinner).
The thing about cauliflower transformation is that, even as a chewy tortilla, or in crispy-edged pizza form, its true flavor and texture never actually, truly disappears. No cauliflower creation ever ceases to truly be cauliflower...it's just presented in a different, gussied-up form. Sort of like when I have my hair and makeup done: the results are different, fancified, maybe prettier, but at the core, essentially the same as before.
Or maybe like when I get married in just six weeks? I'll be transformed to an extent then, right? I'll wear a special dress, have my hair and makeup done. Put on a ring made especially for me? And then, in front of friends and family, Evan and I will make our union legal. After the wedding, as he and I have been doing for the past four years, we'll continue to adapt. To married life, to permanent love.
But underneath it all, after the ketubah and marriage license have been signed, after my dress, with its intense boob-securing infrastructure (I have been promised several times that the dress won't require a bra. I am suspicious of this.), has been exchanged for a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, and Evan's dapper suit has been replaced by a more casual (but still extremely dapper) get-up, we'll find that, at our respective cores, we are still the same as before. Transformed, adapted--maybe with a few new ingredients added, as it were--but essentially the same as we've always been.
Kind of like this Buffalo Cauliflower: decorated, adapted, transformed...but at its heart, still cauliflower.
- 1 medium cauliflower, cored and cut into florets $2.50
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Pantry
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher Pantry
- 1/4 cup hot sauce, such as Tabasco, Frank's or Crystal $2.50 for 12 ounces
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted $1 for a stick
- juice of half a lemon $0.50 for a whole lemon
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste Pantry
- ranch or blue cheese dressing, for serving optional
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the oil and salt.
- Spread in an even layer on a rimmed, greased baking pan, and roast until they start to brown, about 15 minutes.
- While the cauliflower roasts, whisk together the hot sauce, butter, lemon juice, and black pepper.
- Remove the cauliflower from the oven, but leave the oven on.
- Using a spatula, scrape the roasted cauliflower into the hot sauce mixture, stir well to coat, then scrape the whole thing, sauce and all, onto the pan.
- Return to the oven and roast for an additional 15 minutes, then remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter.
- Serve with blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing.