When I first heard Michael Pollan on "Fresh Air", it was a driveway moment. I got The Omnivore's Dilemma, and, um, devoured it. What he was saying really resonated with me- the person who still craves the rich flavor of tough, scrawny Indian chicken after a decade of living in the US.
When I first moved here I was struck by how cauliflowers and peppers were individually priced at the grocery store. 2 for $0.99. Astonishingly, they were pretty identical in terms of size, shape and weight, so the pricing model actually made sense. They looked beautiful too- waxed and polished, bright, stacked so neatly, and enormous. What good value! Alas, those firm tomatoes lacked flavor, the peppers the piquancy of my beloved Indian "capsicum". This was industrial agriculture in all its glory- food grown in massive quantities, bred to look good and travel cross-country, be as uniform as if pressed out of molds, and stripped of its very essence. And then there were the tubs of ice-cream. I'd never seen containers that big in my life.
But, before long I too had succumbed. Too busy to cook, I was. How easy to get something out of the freezer, microwave it for 5 minutes, and done. Something Michael Pollan said on Talk of the Nation (yep, NPR junkie, guilty as charged) made me sit up. He's promoting his new book In Defense Of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. He said that we have time to watch tons of cooking shows on TV, and no time to cook. How about we take some of that watching time, and spend it cooking? What a novel idea.
And so I made cauliflower with fennel seeds.
Simple, quick, flavorful, and from scratch. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.