Turns Out, Blending Cauliflower and Hot Water Doesn't Result in Something Tasty

Illustration for article titled Turns Out, Blending Cauliflower and Hot Water Doesnt Result in Something Tasty

Welcome to Better Than It Looks, a series in which we discuss the recipes we tried (and maybe failed) to execute, and the foods that were served to us by someone perhaps more talented than ourselves.


I should have known I was in trouble after choosing a recipe that called for “very fresh cauliflower.” Because number one, how fresh was this chef talking? Number two, where the hell did this chef think I live? The chef, I later found out, expected extreme talent of his readers, and assumed they all lived on cauliflower farms.

My long night’s journey into shitty soup began around 6:00 pm on Sunday evening. I had already decided on a main course (these very easy and delicious sandwiches from Martha Stewart) and needed a side, so I opened up Food52’s new-ish cookbook Genius Recipes, saw the gorgeous photograph of Paul Bertolli’s cauliflower soup, and thought, “Cauliflower? Loves it!!! Soup? Yass, mom!!! Like four ingredients? Slayyyy, kween!!!!”


Food52’s book begins with a flowery essay for each “genius recipe,” wherein the writers wax poetic about how they were created and why they will certainly impress the hell out of you. The essay on Bertolli’s soup was all about cauliflower and why, if you’re patient and cook it correctly, its natural pectin will thicken it and make it super duper tasty. Bertolli promised I wouldn’t need dairy. Bertolli promised it wouldn’t be thin. But, after dumping five and a half cups of water into a pot filled with cauliflower florets and a medium onion, I realized Paul Bertolli was a liar.

Just look how sad and boring this looks looks:

Illustration for article titled Turns Out, Blending Cauliflower and Hot Water Doesnt Result in Something Tasty

As a cauliflower lover it pains me to say this, but pureeing the vegetable along with hot water does not result in a satisfying side dish—even after topping it with a fancy-looking drizzle of olive oil and a few cracks of black pepper, as Bertolli suggested. I guess it just wasn’t fresh enough.

After dinner, I sent a photo of the meal to my sister, who was as supportive as ever:

Illustration for article titled Turns Out, Blending Cauliflower and Hot Water Doesnt Result in Something Tasty

What did you cook this week? Or, if you didn’t cook, what food did you depress or delight your taste buds with? Whatever it was, I hope it was better than hot cauliflower water.

Contact the author at bobby@jezebel.com.

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YAY! I’ve literally been refreshing this page constantly for the last 20 minutes because this week, I AM PREPARED. WITH PHOTOS.

So this last week introduced the first of the season’s cold/flu-y sicknesses into the Camel household, so we went big on soups. Last Thursday’s soup was Joanne Chang’s Hot and Sour Soup, one of my FAVORITE recipes because it takes an impossible-seeming dish like Hot & Sour Soup and makes it totally doable at home with ingredients you can find at a run-of-the-mill grocery store rather than a specialty store or Asian market:

This Monday, the soup theme continued, but I also partake in Meatless Mondays. I also had a CSA pickup on Saturday, so I had a lot of things to use up. Hence, this Potato and Leek Soup, served with what CamelBoyfriend and I refer to as “bag salad,” aka a salad made up of whatever salad-type ingredients we lugged back from CSA this week (in this case, red leaf lettuce, Fuji apple, and shaved parmesan) topped with Martha Stewart’s Red Wine Vinaigrette, aka my favorite salad dressing.

Finally, last night I discovered one of my new favorite dishes ever, this Goat Cheese Polenta with Brussels Sprouts & Pancetta. SO delicious.

That’s all, folks! I’ll wrap up with a plea to take me out of the grays, because I LOVE TALKING ABOUT RECIPES SO MUCH GUYZ.