Dinner Tonight: Cauliflower with Bacon and Mushrooms

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

If you've ever wondered how to make vegetables taste as good as they possibly can, please pick up Barbara Kafka's Vegetable Love. It's a massive book, and luckily has nothing to with healthy living. It's basically a hedonistic take on vegetables, pleasure for its own sake, as this insane recipe perfectly showcases. I mean, we are talking a quarter-pound of bacon and two tablespoons of butter here!

You'd think the cauliflower would wilt under the pressure. I mean, anything would taste fine with that much bacon, but I worried it would overpower the other flavors. Luckily, cauliflower is a miraculous vegetable that develops rich, nutty aromas when you cook it over high heat. It completely holds its own, probably better than a piece of meat. Make no mistake, this is an extravagant, excessive meal—it's so filling, you don't need anything but a big beer to help cut the fat.

Dinner Tonight: Cauliflower with Bacon and Mushrooms

About This Recipe



  • 1/4 pound bacon, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cored and florets chopped
  • 5 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • kosher salt and pepper


  1. 1

    Add the bacon to a skillet set over medium-low heat. Cook until bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes or so. Remove the bacon and drain on some paper towels. Leave the glorious grease in the skillet.

  2. 2

    Add the butter to skillet, and let it melt. Then crank the heat to high and add the cauliflower and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add the shallots and cook for another 2 minutes.

  3. 3

    Return the bacon strips to the pan along with the parsley, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in 1/4 cup of water, and scrap the bottom of the pan to dislodge any browned bits. Cook until the water has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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