Purple Cauliflower Pickles

I believe I have mentioned Michael Ruhlman's book, Ratio a number of times with regard to pickle making. Generally speaking,  it is quite a useful little cooking manual for some very basic preparations, just one of which is an extremely easy method for naturally fermented pickles. I keep trying various vegetables, of which the celery root was not successful.  Don't bother pickling that one.  However, I thought these purple cauliflower pickles deserving of their very own post.

Sometimes a vegetable will just call to me from the bins at our market.  Broccoli Romanesco was like that.  So beautiful and unusual, a natural approximation of a fractal.  The purple cauliflower stopped me in my tracks as well.

I decided to pickle the boy, combined with some wedges of daikon (large Japanese type of white radish).  In common with beets, this cauliflower will eventually turn the whole batch a brilliant burgundy color.  The good news is, that's not a dye of any sort. Purple cauliflower gets its beautiful hue, which can vary in depth, from the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is also found in red cabbage and red wine.  It has the same texture, and firmness as the white variety, with a mild, slightly sweet and nutty taste.

Here it is starting out, with the air-lock on the kitchen counter.


Book Review - The Hundred-Foot Journey, by Richard C. Morais

Our current (October-November) Cook the Books Club selection, The Hundred-Foot Journey, a novel by Richard C. Morais, was titled for the very short distance between two eating establishments in his story, French and Indian, though the journey between cultures is much longer.

An Indian family flee their home and restaurant in Mumbai, after the mother's tragic death in a riot, though not without first selling their property and making that escape with some solid cash.  After a brief unhappy stay in England, they move again, this time (after some driving around Europe, looking for a future home, in three second-hand Mercedes), they finally settle in the little French mountain village of Lumière.

There, right across the street from a well-known (to epicures) classic French Inn and Restaurant, run by a snooty, unhappy woman, though an excellent chef, Papa decides to open a colorful, noisy, family style Indian Restaurant, Maison Mumbai  You can just imagine the fire-works.  Literally in the case of the troop from India, with classic Hindustani music blaring out over speakers in the garden.  Their new neighbor is not thrilled, to say the least.