It looks as though those who predicted cauliflower will be an "in" food item this year were right. The New York Times has a story on the historic popularity of cauliflower in Sicily and recipes for us to add to our dinner rotation.
For many years we had the best Italian neighbor lady in Collinsville who always whipped up hearty meals using family recipes from her Sicilian heritage and her use of cauliflower with pasta was my first introduction to this combination. I was afraid of this co-mingling of pasta and cauliflower at first since my pasta heritage was a more anglo saxon version consisting of spaghetti or mostaccioli with red sauce. If we were really cutting the edge we'd sprinkle on some parmesan cheese. But as the years went by I spent many a day in her kitchen watching how she concocted her meals and have replicated many of them time and again.
Thank you Angie. We miss you every day but a part of you continues through our family.
One of Angie's favorite things to whip up was a huge bowl of marinated black Scilian olives. She'd send John to the Italian store somewhere in St. Louis, he never said exactly where this was.
These are not the small, pointy Kalamata olives they are more robust in size and have a pinkish cast and come right from large containers of brine, no bottled olives for Angie and John.
Years ago I found these olives at Viviano's Italian Grocery on the Hill. They are in the big buckets of brine and sit next to other varities of olives in their original brine. I get them serveral times a year and fix them just like Angie did. You'll never want black olives from a can after tasting these.
First you rinse the olives really well, pat dry and put into a bowl. Pour in some olive oil, chopped or sliced garlic (Angie used thinly sliced garlic and lots of it) some dried oregano and paprika. Toss, let sit for a bit to combine the flavors and then enjoy them with some crunchy Italian bread and cheese. The bread is good for sopping up. The amounts of things never mattered, it was all a matter of taste and looks. These are so good.
Back to the cauliflower. The linked article has a few recipes most of which could have been made in Angie's kitchen except the first which adds raisins or currants and saffron. She'd never have done that.