Serious Eats: Recipes

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.

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