Friday, February 02, 2007

Il farmers market non smette mai di stupirmi

Raleigh Farmers' market can always surprise me. Last Saturday I was so amazed when I saw this:
Orange and purple cauliflowers!!!!! I never ever saw anything like that in my life so I couldn't avoid buying them.
Here is a zoom-in on the flowers:
The guy at the market suggested either eating them raw or steaming them if I didn't want them to lose their color. So I tried them both raw and steamed, and I made some quite colorful salads with them which you can look at if you 'read more'.
As for the taste, to be really honest, they didn't taste like much. When I tried them with my American friends, they told me that they tasted like normal cauliflower does. This is pretty sad: in Italy, cauliflower has a strong taste, and I don't understand why American cauliflower shouldn't taste like much.
As for the color: I found out that these colored cauliflower are well-known, they have more nutrients than regular white cauliflower, and actually, the purple one is supposed to be original from Souther Italy! You can read a lot about it on Wikipedia.

This is an example of basically the same salad that I made, just two different styles of presentation (I like them both).
Insalata di quinoa e cavolfiori colorati /Quinoa and colored cauliflower salad

I steamed the cauliflowers for ~20 minutes, and at the same time, cooked some quinoa. This is the first time I made quinoa in a while, and I never talked about it on this blog. Quinoa is a 'wonder-grain': you can prepare it and eat it like rice, but it has a lot more proteins than normal rice. It has also a specific taste, which I like very much. So, this time, I mixed 2 cups of quinoa and 4 cups of water, added some salt, and brought to boil, and let cooked (covered) until the water was adsorbed (~20 min). You should rinse the quinoa before cooking it, because it releases a soapy liquid that's a bit bitter (I forgot to do it but I still liked it a lot). To complete the salad, I added tomatoes, and seasoned with olive oil, garlic and parsley, to eat cold (first version), or I warmed it up, added just olive oil, salt and pepper, and some cottage cheese (second version).

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