While it’s true I’m easily persuaded about most things, whether it’s trying cookies without flour, taking trips to new places or realizing I’d been wrong all along about that crazy thing called meatloaf, you could still say there are a few fixed aspects of my nature, ones I don’t expect I’ll ever shake.
It’s hard to imagine a me that didn’t love the sky, for example, who didn’t stare at the clouds or gasp at a golden sunset. Would I still be myself if I didn’t notice the seasons change? I love the way my dad chuckles when he knows he’s wrong, the way my mom only shows her full grin when she’s laughing hard, how my younger brother is a better driver, planner and cook than I am. And really, I’ll always move towards relationships without pretense. That’s just who I am.
Since they say a person is defined by what she really loves, you might as well also know, in that case, that I like fall leaves and fresh fruit and people who sacrifice without expecting anything in return. I want warm sunshine and broad daylight and to spend time with those who know me.
Also, and no less important, there is lemon.
I read about a chef a while ago, I wish I could remember which one, who said everything is better with a little lemon on it. That chef and I? We would be friends. Good friends. Drenched in lemon is how I like my green beans, my potatoes, my Greek chicken, even my fish. I know I’m not alone in this. When we were in Madison last month, Jacqui told me if she could have any fruit tree in her yard, she’d pick lemon. (If I weren’t already sure, this would have clinched the deal that we are friends.)
And now, I can also tell you, hands down, that with lots of lemon is also how I love my cauliflower.
People. Have you had cauliflower this way? I know it’s barely a recipe. I mean, you mix chopped cauliflower with olive oil and lemon, throw on some salt and pepper, and roast it. That’s all. But the result? The result! It’s caramelized and salty and so good, you’ll be smacking your lips together, I promise. I made some for the first time three weeks ago, and then promptly went to the store the next day to buy another head, and then another two days later, and then another that I have in my fridge right now and am, would you believe this, saving it because I don’t want to waste it on a ho-hum night. You could say this is me changing again, the way I always do with food preferences, but I disagree: this is me being who I always was, someone who loves lemon. On everything.
One head of cauliflower
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and trim cauliflower, and chop it into same-sized pieces (like little trees!). Then, you can either toss the cauliflower with olive oil and salt and pepper in a bowl before arranging on a lined baking sheet, or you can lay all the cauliflower pieces on a lined baking sheet and cover with olive oil and salt and pepper. Your choice. Then generously squeeze lemon juice all over it all.
Stick in oven for about 40 to 50 minutes, tossing once or twice and adding more squeezes of lemon juice. It’s ready when the cauliflower has browned and withered—feel free to squeeze a little more lemon on top before eating.