Cauliflower – a tale of three friends

Hi there,

My bestie, Fran, gave to me a cookbook by Eric Ripert on vegetables. It was a totally unnecessary present to thank me for just doing something a loyal friend does. Fran is someone who knows me inside and out. We met ankle deep at the baby pool and have been inseparable ever since. I started reading the cookbook and fell in love with a recipe for Slow-Roasted Cauliflower. Yes, I know, I am a total food geek. Who falls in love with a recipe for cauliflower??? I brought home the cauliflower and started remembering another friend, Maggi, who was as geeky about cooking as me. Maggi was my first friend from Medical School. She always greeted me with “how are you doing hon?”. Our husbands were in the same class. She was just one of the very best people in the whole world. We both liked to cook and thought we were very sophisticated with our choice of recipes. We regularly cooked from James Beard and Julia Child when we had the money for ingredients. She thought cauliflower was great and years before it was popular she breaded the cauliflower and fried it – vegetable heaven. Here is a picture of the two sophisticates from 1973:

I’m the one doing the dishes.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the recipe which is Eric Ripert’s from his new cookbook, Vegetable Simple. This is a show stopper vegetable dish. Although it starts out looking like the brain from Young Frankenstein.

“I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates’, food, for me, has always been an adventure” – Anthony Bourdain


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons of tagarashi
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • sea salt and Aleppo pepper


  1. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower keeping the core intact
  2. Take out a large pot and fill 1/4 of the way with water
  3. Add the togarashi to the water and stir until combined
  4. Put in the whole cauliflower and cover with an inch of water
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. You should be able to pierce the core with the tip of a pairing knife.
  6. While you are simmering the cauliflower preheat your oven to 450 degrees
  7. Remove the cauliflower from the water and drain . Trim the core so that it sits flat but the cauliflower is still intact.
  8. Put the cauliflower on a sheet pan
  9. Brush with oil, and lightly cover with the salt and pepper
  10. Cook in the oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes
  11. Plate the cauliflower and serve with a spoon for everyone to take a serving

Special Note: This is a fun and pretty family style vegetable dish. I used the togarashi which I had from making my carrot soup but Eric Ripert advises that you can use any spices or herbs you wish, such as herbs de Provence or paprika. Enjoy!

Talk soon, ❤️💕 Bernadette

14 responses to “Cauliflower – a tale of three friends”

  1. Ahhh 1973 – the year I graduated from high school! Love that photo. The cookbook sounds wonderful. I’ve been seeing a lot about it. Eric Ripert is so impressive. I was lucky enough to go to Le Bernardin once. What a wonderful experience!

  2. I’m a huge fan of Eric Ripert too…I have a signed copy of his Avec Eric cookbook! I’ll have to check this one out. Thanks Bernadette 😊💕

    • It is a wonderful cookbook filled with all kind of recipes that will convert even the biggest vegetable hater. Enjoy your weekend Linda.

  3. This is very pretty! My husband’s daughter is vegan, and this would be a great addition to the table when she visits next time. I have to admit, I have not heard of tagarashi! How would you describe the flavor?

  4. It has a little heat to it and undertones of orange and lemon. It doesn’t contain any salt which is the reason I first tried it because Dom needs to eat foods lower in sodium.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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