Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Market Day - Sauteed Cauliflower with Cumin Seed

I had no food in the house today. Well, that's not entirely true. I had no produce. I just went and spent 160nis - or about $40, buying produce. Shocking, no?

When it comes to a quick shop, there are a few options in the neighborhood. Any of the local grocery stores - we really only like one for big shopping as their produce is excellent and their selection of dry goods is adequate for our needs. There are also a number of bodega type stores, with everything from fruits and veggies to dairy goods and decent wines. They tend to pricey but convenience always comes with a price tag. Nothing is like the shuk but one can't shlep to the shuk everyday.

Thankfully, Ira has a 2 day a week Ulpan that meets near on 'yarkan'/veg seller that we like. I met up with him and we brought a nice pile of produce home - greens and some crisp apples, persimmons (of course), cukes (slim, small, crunchy Israeli cukes), cauliflower and d'lat (pumpkin). Fresh thyme, fennel and medium sized portobello mushrooms to round it all out.

I bought 2 beautiful heads of cauliflower as well. I have been experimenting with cauliflower again as it is readily available here and always looks beautiful here. I like roasted cauliflower but last time I tried it, first I did a quick saute to take the raw crunch out and then roasted the flowerets the rest of the way but felt it got too soft. It was tasty though.

This time, I did it all the way in the pan and was happier with the results.
2 large heads of cauliflower (this ensured some lunch leftovers), broken into smaller flowerets and the stems trimmed and chopped down.

Peeled and chopped fresh ginger. I would say between 2-4 tbsps, depending on how much ginger you like.

Peeled and chopped fresh garlic. 4-6 good sized cloves.

1-2 tbsp of cumin seed.

Canola oil. I think that for something like this, which is Indian in style, I would go for canola or even ghee if you have any in the house but olive would work as well.
Heat your pan and add the oil (2tbsp should do it). Saute the ginger and garlic, watching that they only lightly brown and not burn. Add the cumin seed and saute until the aroma is nice and toasty (2-3 minutes), again watching that it doesn't burn. Add the cauliflower and saute at a high flame, letting it brown a bit, stirring it up every few minutes. When it's brown to your liking (5 min or so) and beginning to get a bit cooked, cover the pan and let the cauliflower cook to your preferred crunch. If the bottom of the pan is too dry, a splash of white wine or just water will work just fine to keep things from scorching.

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