1)Cauliflower as the main event
2)French fried onions
To most people I guess french fried onions are pretty old hat at this point, but I didn't grow up eating green bean casseroles like (at least the Campbell's soup commercials imply) most people did. In fact I'd never even tried a green bean casserole until a couple of years ago and even then I think somebody had rooted through and scooped all the french fried onions off for their own greedy lips. This called for 1/2 cup french fried onions chopped with a 1/4 cup panko and some olive oil and two garlic cloves toasted together in a span on the stove-top, which after several samples during the cooking process, has totally won my heart. It basically tastes like the most amazing topping to the best casserole ever, without actually adding butter or baking it in the oven. I'm convinced I will use this combo for many many more things in the future.
And as for the cauliflower... I just went along with it because that was the recipe. I could sit here and say that I've always had some sort of long lasting love for the most pallid member of the family cruciferous but I think anybody who says that is probably being sarcastic.Cauliflower... it's not really something you seek out. It's just there. And honestly in this recipe just like every other time I've ever tasted cauliflower, just there was really all it was.
But the worst part was, it didn't just hang out in the background not adding to the party. It sort of stuck out, in that terrible way that it seemed all vegetables did when you were a kid eating anything that wasn't mac and cheese or hotdogs.
It was like, "Hey, cauliflower... dude... could you uh... maybe leave some room for something else?"
And it doesn't even look appetizing! I had a hell of a time trying to photograph this incredibly pale dish with only red pepper flakes and basil to give it any life. Aren't professional chef's always saying "you eat with your eyes first"?!
I kept imagining how much better this would be with some chicken and cream sauce but then I realized I was just wishing for chicken carbonara which is basically the noodles and cheese without everything else. Hm... imagine everything else is gone....
Final thoughts, panko + french fried onions = whole heartedly approve
Everything else = snore
Vince Camillo, I give you a sad face :(