It baffles me how two blonde people can produce a child with brown hair, but there you have it. We did. It's also beyond me why the dahlias we planted in May are only now producing big, beautiful blooms, while Gail's (if you live here, you know Gail—she's the one with the stunning stand near the library) are gone by. Also, why don't I buy cauliflower more often?
My mother is a steadfast purchaser of cauliflower. She particularly likes the orange variety, the one you sometimes find at farmers' markets, and she especially likes it roasted with onions and carrots. Roasted vegetables are always good, she'll tell you, but this is the absolute best combination.
The other day I saw a head and decided to bring it home. I used a bit to try this strange but excellent raw cauliflower salad, and I thought about making a cheesy cauliflower soup, but in the end I am my mother's daughter. And so tonight it's in the oven, roasting with a red onion, a handful of sage leaves from the plant beside the stoop, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt.
Though I can't imagine Nora grown—or Sally, for that matter—I can see myself at sixty, waxing poetic to them over the phone about the merits of roasted cauliflower. It's a happy picture, and one I think would very much please my mother.
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH ONIONS AND SAGE
Do you really need a recipe for this? Probably not. But sometimes it helps to get an idea of the proportions other people are using, so here goes.
1 large head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
1 red onion, peeled and diced
a large handful of sage leaves
olive oil (about 1/4 cup)
sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the cauliflower, onion, and sage together in a 9" by 13" baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake 30-40 minutes, until the veggies are tender and golden at the edges. Serve hot.