Monday, 16 September 2013

Tagliatelle with Cauliflower Leaves, Bacon and Pine Nuts

Well, Mum has gone after a lovely week visiting us from Auld Reekie.  It's nice having her around and the extra pair of hands is always welcome when we're trying to get things done and R is playing up.  Last weekend, before she left, we took a trip up to Headingley on a two pronged mission.  Z wanted to visit Heart and Craft to meet up with some of her crafty friends and I felt the need to mooch around the Headingley Farmers Market.

We were specifically looking for something to have for our dinner on Sunday but we ended up with our bags full of exiting ingredients.  The star find was an enormous Pattypan Squash, but I'll come back to that tomorrow.  From the same stall as the squash we also picked up a Kohlrabi that was turned into a gratin that we had with a beef stew on Sunday, and a cauliflower.

We will be having cauliflower cheese later in the week but, unlike shop bought cauli's, the beast we bought from Headingley came complete with a bushel of foliage.  I hate chucking food away but had never considered cauliflower leaves to be a source of nutrition.  A quick internet search later confirmed that I was not going to poison myself or Z by eating the leaves.  Google didn't serve up much by the way of recipes however, so I pretty much made up Tonight's Menu as I went along.

We cook pasta with kale quite often so I was happy that I could do the same kind of thing with the cauliflower leaves.  I fried onions, garlic and some bacon in a little olive oil before adding the greens and a splash of white wine.  With the wine reduced and the greens wilted I added some toasted pine nuts, cooked tagliatelle, a splash of the pasta water and some grated parmesan cheese.

I have got absolutely no idea why I have never done this before, but cooking cauliflower leaves just makes sense.  They aren't as strong as kale or even cabbage, but they were tasty and as it keeps less food going into the bin, I'll definitely be cooking with them again.  Oh, and this would easily make a good vegetarian meal but I'm sure you can work that out for yourselves.

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