It is so dark today (in Minnesota), I'm lucky I was able to take a recognizable photo. Flash flood warnings abound, as apparently we're about to be deluged with days of cold, fall rain.
To cheer myself up, I just add pork, to just about anything, and really, I feel better. I made a big pan of Swiss chard for a dinner party last Friday night, with raisins, pine nuts, and...pancetta. I bought an extra slice, knowing I could put it to good use somewhere this week.
Needless to say, when I started thinking about what to make for dinner tonight, all I could think about was that pancetta. I decided that this round it would rock with roasted cauliflower.
I stirred in minced garlic, fresh thyme, and grated Parmesan cheese at the end for an extra boost of flavor. I pretty much had this for dinner, crusty and rich, but it would be perfect tossed with pasta or alongside steaks or salmon as well.
I also enjoyed a glass of the lovely wine I received last night at the grand opening celebration for Surdyk's Wine Flights, a wine market & bar newly opened at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport.
Yes, John & I made our way out to the airport, and through security, to attend a party! Really fun, especially to sample truly delicious food & wine (at an airport!) and to chat with food writers Crystal Grobe (Cafe Cyan, WCCO Bite of Minnesota), Maja Ingeman (Heavy Table), and Kate Sommers (Fork, Knife, and Spoon, Heavy Table, CityPages Foodography).
I arrived at the party several mintues later than John, stressing a bit that he wouldn't know anyone there...and discovered him happily chatting away, full plate of food and glass of wine in hand.
Next time you're at MSP, stop in for a pre- or post-flight glass of wine and snack. Or even better - I'm a bit obsessed with this idea - buy yourself a baguette, gorgeous cheese, and a bottle of wine to enjoy on the plane. A plane picnic! How cool is that?
Stay dry, friends!
Roasted Cauliflower with Pancetta, Garlic, & Parmesan
1 slice pancetta, 1/4-inch thick, cut into 1/4-inch dice (substitute bacon, if you like)
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, saute pancetta until evenly golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta to a paper towel, reserving drippings.
Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Drizzle pancetta drippings over cauliflower, add olive oil, and toss to coat. Add a generous sprinkle of coarse salt and toss again. Spread cauliflower evenly on a baking sheet, making sure that all the cauliflower is touching the pan. Place pan in oven and roast cauliflower for 15 minutes. Turn florets and roast for another 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is nicely brown in spots.
While cauliflower roasts, stir together garlic, Parmesan cheese, and thyme in a small bowl. When cauliflower is done, sprinkle garlic/cheese mixture over cauliflower and stir. Return to the oven for 2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant and cheese is just browning. Season with additional salt if necessary, top with pancetta, and serve hot.