I am embarrassed to admit this, but I am a bad vegetarian. Not the kind that eats chicken wings when they’ve had too many gin and tonics, but the kind that doesn’t really like vegetables. Anyone in my family will tell you this has always been the case. I was the last one sitting at the table, glaring at my peas through crocodile tears while everyone else was eating their iced animal crackers.
These are tragic memories, but over the past few years I have come a long way in my relationship with vegetables. Many have made their way from my napkin to my fork, but unfortunately, appreciating their cooked taste has nothing to do with knowing what to do with them when I bring them home from the grocery store.
This weekend I decided to take on one of the scaries, and by this I mean cauliflower. One of my favorite takeout supper options is Aloo Gobi, an Indian dish made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gobi), and a variety of spices. Wanting to recreate some of what I love about the dish, I looked for a recipe online that would help get me started. Then I bought a head of cauliflower.
Once I got it onto my cutting board and chopped off the bottom, the cauliflower basically told me where to go next. I can’t believe I have been buying it frozen because I was afraid I would mess it up fresh…so easy.
After the vegetables and potatoes had softened and browned in the pot, I added the spices and diced tomatoes and covered everything to let the steam go to work. All in all, I got about 7-8 cups of potato and cauliflower curry out of this recipe, which means I will be eating it all week. The end result was good, but not nearly as bold in the flavor department as I had hoped. I couldn’t taste enough of the spices and the tomatoes overpowered the dish. If I make it again, I will go heavier on the spices and add them to the onions in the beginning, decrease the tomatoes, and add ginger and garam masala.
It might not have been what I was hoping for taste-wise, but when 18 inches of snow fell on Boston Sunday through Monday, a bowl of this over rice or with a thick slice of artisan bread…along with my fleece blanket and Law & Order on Netflix…made for one very cozy blizzard experience.
Eventually I went stir crazy and ventured outside.
My neighborhood is one of the prettiest in Somerville.
I bought these boots online and didn’t like them, but then I was too lazy to return them (who wants to mail back BOOTS?), so now they are mine forever. I was delighted to discover that what they lack in fit and fashion, they make up for by being awesome on snowy sidewalks.
Another three months of this to look forward to!
Potato and Cauliflower Curry
Adapted from Apartment Therapy
2 small onions, diced
6 small red potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1-inch nub of garlic, minced or grated (I suspect this was supposed to be ginger)
1 tsp cumin
2 tsps curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in their juices
1/4 cup greek yogurt (I omitted this)
- Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a 4 to 6 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the onions with a pinch of salt until they are soft and translucent.
- Add the potatoes with another teaspoon of olive oil. Allow onions and potatoes to cook for 10 minutes or so. Give a few stirs with a wooden spoon from time to time to make sure the bottom isn’t burning. Add the cauliflower and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Don’t be afraid to add a touch more olive oil if you need it. (I did.)
- Toss in all of the spices. Add the tomatoes and their juices. Give it a good stir, bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and let the mixture simmer until the potatoes and cauliflower are soft, 20 minutes or so.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the yogurt if you’re using it. Generously salt and pepper, then taste and adjust your seasonings. Eat over rice, with naan bread, or some other tasty carbohydrate.
This will keep for one week refrigerated.
PS. If your boyfriend has a bug that has been making him barf a lot…do not unscrew the lid on the Tupperware of this you have in the fridge and waft it under his nose.
PPS. Sorry John!