22 September 2010

Cauliflower, peppers and tomatoes

Having got a super bargain cauliflower on Ridley Road market for 50p as well as five peppers for a quid and a big bowl of tomatoes for the same I wanted something that could combine the three. The bargains to be had at Ridley Rd are wonderful and I urge anyone in the area (E8) to get down there quick-sharp. The stuff available fluctuates quite a bit but can be great, I've spied a cardboard crate of cherry tomatoes for a pound once which is just ridic when you clock the prices in the supermarkets. The one caveat to add is that it's worth using the veg fairly quickly as some of it is at (or just past) ideal ripeness. Anyhow, I digress...


A little googling found this recipe which looked perfect for using them as all the other ingredients are standard spices which should be on the spice rack of any self-respecting home cook! (Apart from canola oil that is, I didn’t even know exactly what that was until I Wikipedia-ed it (it's rape oil basically and 'the name "canola" was derived from "Canadian oil, low acid" in 1978' apparently). I used use plain vegetable (a strangely ambiguous and non-specific descriptor when you think about it…!) oil with a little bit of butter for some ghee vibes (must get some ghee)).

So I heated my fats and fried the spices and chilli. The recipe specified some ground spices but I used whole ones which probably didn't help things. The colour is a nice yellow-brown from the turmeric. I then added the cauliflower in smallish florets and cooked for about ten minutes. I then added a couple of small peppers cut into pieces to cook for a few minutes and then eight or so tomatos cut in half and cooked for a further five minutes.

The flavour of the dish represented the sum of it's parts, no more or less. Just as some amazing combinations of food elevate a dish's ingredients beyond their normal status this one confirmed them in it. It wasn't nasty, where the food actually tastes less than the sum of it's parts, but it wasn't no great shakes neither. Maybe my fault for not using ground spices. The cooking times in the recipe seemed very short also.

Source: NY Times. Verdict: so-so. Condiments accompanying the meal (depicted below): tasty.

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