Dinner Tonight: Cauliflower with Bacon and Mushrooms

Dinner Tonight

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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.

  • Yield:4

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  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.