In prepping to cook through this book, I looked at all the dishes to assess which I might not be crazy about eating.
The dishes in the book include cow brain, stomach lining (internal and external), jellyfish, thymus glands, pig heads, raw lamb, lamb tongues and several species of liver.
Cool with all of that.
I was not looking forward to the cauliflower.
I hate cauliflower.
I try to reserve hating any foodstuff. But there is really nothing worse than cauliflower to me. From the first time I had it, so many years ago, it's something I have trouble swallowing. I tend to chew it and chew it and chew it until i realize the only reason I'm still chewing it is because I'm actually afraid to swallow it. And by then, it's even worse than when it started. And it started out bad. I try to avoid hyperbole when it comes to food, but I honestly have no idea how people eat that stuff.
The good news is, I love pasta. And I'm always willing to have my mind changed.
This dish called for dried pasta, so I didn't have to make it, which is good, because I don't have an extruder. (Though, if I had an extra $200 sitting around, I would be getting this.) So when I went to buy the pasta, I saw this on the shelf:
I suspect that will work. (Yes, it was rigatoni, not ziti. They didn't have MB brand ziti. I made the call to go with rigatoni. And I'd do it again.)
Also, I saw cauliflower that was orange, and I saw cauliflower that was purple. Those are two of my favorite colors. If I'm unlikely to like it anyway, maybe getting a different color will help?
"It tastes exactly the same," the guy at the farmer's market tells me.
"Shut up and let me dream," I say to the guy at the farmer's market. In my head. Out loud, I just said, "OK, thanks, I'll take purple."
The dish couldn't be easier. Cook pasta. Saute cauliflower. Add some mint and chili peppers. Toss the pasta with the cauliflower. And the purple cauliflower looked really nice, I thought. And I love mint and chili peppers, so maybe …
I tried. I really, really tried. But I just kept chewing, and feeling the sulfur waft up through my olfactory lobe, and remembering all of the trauma of being forced to eat cauliflower with cheese sauce when I was 8. I could spare you the details, but no, you know what you signed up for when you opened this post: There was gag reflex.
Eventually, I started picking through and just eating the pasta, which was really good, especially when it had mint and chili and no cauliflower on it. Avoiding the cauliflower was really pretty easy, it turns out, because, well, it was purple. It stood out against the pasta. So in the end, the purple totally came through for me.
Up next: swordfish involtini