Orange Coast Magazine

Taste of O.C. | Priscilla Mayfield on food

 

Invite Cauliflower to Your Mardi Gras Party

Vegetables laissez les bon temps roulez, too

There’s more than one way to represent the gold, green, and purple of Mardi Gras on your menu Tuesday. And I’m not talking about the classic tri-color frosting of the king cake that I wrote about last year.

I’m talking vegetables. On a recent Saturday at the Irvine farmers market near UCI, I’d made a mental note to visit the Cal Poly Pomona booth this weekend, where the student farmers sell cauliflower in all its many hues. (This is Cal Poly’s only O.C. farmers market presence, by the way.)

I love cauliflower, any color, just about any preparation. Last week I found two cauli dishes on the excellent buffet at the new India Kitchen in Tustin, where I lunched with GrapeRadio.com’s Jay Selman, who’s sort of the silent member of our own The Wine Dudes blog. The restaurant serves a very good aloo gobi (potatoes and cauliflower), a regular item on many Indian steam-table buffets. But it also offers the more obscure, curry-like Manchurian (sometimes called Mongolian) cauliflower, blanched florets fried in a light batter then bathed in a tomato-y, gingery sauce. It’s one of the best things ever. Another surprise at this in this humble spot was the discovery of an intense tomato chutney alongside the usual tamarind and cilantro-chile types. It’s similar to chef Suvir Saran’s recipe I’ve made for years, flavored with mustard seed and curry leaf. It’s very hard-core. And did I mention the restaurant’s dark, delicious goat curry? Must return asap.

Note: If you can’t make it to the Irvine market, you can find colorful cauliflower in supermarkets, like the gorgeous specimens from Los Alamitos-based Frieda’s pictured here.

 

Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here.

OC Guides

Guides

OC Guides
  • Best of 2014: Nutty Brûlée

    No one can resist breaking into the sugary crust of crème brûlée, and this one packs an extra surprise with its abundance of silky-smooth chocolate-hazelnut custard below—thanks to the addition of Nutella. This sinful dessert is incredibly rich and best shared with a friend. $8
    704 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, 949‑673‑7173, theslidingdoorcafe.com

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Honey Bee Chicken

    You’ll fall in lust with the chicken pieces at BBQ Chicken at Diamond Jamboree in Irvine. Fried in olive oil for a crunchy exterior, they’re tossed in a sweet honey sauce making them all the more delicious. $11 to $21

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: New York Pizza

    Seal Beach’s A Slice of New York makes pizza the way it’s supposed to be—with a thin, chewy crust that oozes cheese and can be enjoyed the New Yawker way: folded in half.
    142 Main St., 562-493-4430, asliceofnewyorkpizza.net

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Bird-Watching

    When the throngs of beachgoers are too much, spend a day with the birds. Here, with the wind whipping off the ocean and herons, egrets, ducks, and more soaring above, you'll get a chance to be the amateur ornithologist you never knew you wanted to be. Free
    3842 Warner Ave., Huntington Beach, 714-846-1114, bolsachica.org

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Green Cleaners

    Sold from her website and a refitted retro travel trailer, these earth-safe cleaning products are Marilyn Nowak of Coto de Caza's propriety formulas. Products for laundry, surfaces such as glass and wood - even an ecological drain cleaner - all have dispenser bottles and bulk refills $8 to $48
    Resuming in September at Great Park Farmer's Market, Sand Canyon Avenue and Marine Way, Irvine, 949-292-1648, lilgreenwagon.com

    Read More
 
 
wine blog
 

stuff we love

Charitable Events Calendar