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The Crisper Whisperer: Buffalo Roasted Cauliflower

You may know Carolyn Cope as Umami Girl. She stops by on Tuesdays with ideas on preparing the abundance of fruits and vegetables you might get from your CSA or the market. —The Mgmt.

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[Photograph: Carolyn Cope]

If I were a beautiful, brainy head of cauliflower, most of the time I'd want to be sautéed in brown butter and dressed in a sophisticated little number—just capers, anchovies, and bread crumbs for me. I might accessorize with a bit of minced parsley, but nothing more. For the most part I'd keep demure, if playfully so. You want to be interesting, of course. But you don't need to give it all away.

In bolder moments—say, roasting in a gas-powered oven during a city-wide blackout—I might go practically nude. Just a splash of good olive oil and a lavish sprinkle of salt and pepper. Crank the heat way up, and I'd be good to go. No need to be shy about it.

But I'd have another mode, too. I wouldn't talk about it with you until we'd gotten to know each other really very well. Even then, I might keep it to myself—and here's why. One thing's for sure. If you're a lovely young thing trying to keep it on the up and up, not everyone in this world needs to know that you like to be Buffaloed. Not everyone would get it. Some might judge.

If I could let you in on a little secret, though, I've always thought the world would be a much, much better place if we all solved our problems with a stick of really good butter in one hand and a family-sized bottle of Frank's Red Hot in the other. I don't know when we decided to give chicken wings a monopoly on happiness, but I think it's time we started casting a wider Buffalo net.

As you can see, I'm trusting that you all are the types of good folks who wouldn't judge a basically classy crucifer for admitting she likes to take it down a notch every once in a while. As far as I'm concerned, now that we know how to cut cauliflower like we've done it right all our lives, there's no better time to have a little trust and break out the Frank's. Are you with me?

That's what I thought. Now would you please be so kind as to pass the blue cheese?

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