Cauliflower – a tale of three friends

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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. Chen Song Ping @ TPTan – Chen S.P. enjoys pottery works, cartoons, painting and poems. She shares insightful experiences about being a carer for people with mental illness and cancer.
    Chen Song Ping @ TPTan says:

    Healthy dish!

  2. Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles.!/supermegawoman!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
    Darlene says:

    Looks great! Guests would love it.

  3. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    Looks lovely! It would certainly liven up a table!

  4. Chef Mimi – As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!
    chef mimi says:

    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!

  5. the Painted Apron – Life is all about creativity for me, as long as I'm creating something I am happy! I hope I will inspire your daily life and give you ideas for your own wonderful creations!
    the Painted Apron says:

    I had to look up togarashi, that’s a new spice to me, I am very intrigued, it sounds wonderful! Lovely story about your friends…

  6. Linda – I am a devoted wife and mother who loves to create delicious meals for my family and friends. I also love traveling, interior decorating and photography.
    Linda says:

    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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. Phil – I'm a photographer & self-taught graphic artist with a penchant for all things creative, featuring an eclectic collection of unusually imaginative designs available through various print-on-demand galleries. Enjoy a look around my portfolio, categories and blog, and also follow me on Twitter for more updates – thanks!
    Phil says:

    This looks wonderful, Bernadette ~ thanks for sharing 🙏😊

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