“Fond” of This Cauliflower

Fond Cauliflower

Did you know that those little brown bits in the bottom of your roasting pan have a name? Well, a name other than drippings or little brown bits.

They are sometimes called fond, or the fond.  It is from the French word for base- also referring to the base of a sauce. I used the fond from a roasted turkey breast when making my cauliflower.

The picture of this cauliflower does not do it justice. It was so tasty. It was one of those dishes that happened by accident. Now, it is one of my favorite ways to make cauliflower.

Here is how the whole thing happened. I was roasting a turkey breast for dinner. I also was serving cauliflower, but had not yet decided just what to do with the cauliflower. I had cooked the cauliflower until tender, and then mashed it. But I wasn’t using dairy with dinner- so no added butter or milk to my mashed cauliflower.

I had just taken the turkey breast out to rest when I looked at the bottom of the roasting pan. I hadn’t planned on making gravy, but did not want to waste all the flavor in that roasting pan. It suddenly occurred to me to just use the cauliflower to get out that flavor.

The turkey breast was lean, so there wasn’t too much fat in the bottom of the roasting pan. I would have removed some, if there was a lot of fat. I had also seasoned the turkey, so some of the herbs were also in the fond. I just dumped the hot, mashed cauliflower into the pan, I tossed it around,  to get as much of the flavors from the fond as possible. Since the pan was on top of the stove, I turned the heat on under it for a few minutes, as I tossed the cauliflower around. Then I removed the cauliflower and plated it for dinner. It didn’t need any other seasoning. It had a rich, roasted flavor.

I wish I  could say there was an exact recipe for this dish. There isn’t. Just be sure to have a cup or two of cauliflower for each serving. It will cook down a lot. I cooked the cauliflower ahead of time and just tossed it into the pan. You could cook the cauliflower right in the roasting pan, if you prefer. I would chop it up pretty fine, if you are going to do that. It will shorten the cook time considerably.

It was just one of those moments when, afterwards, I wondered why I had never thought to do this before. The cauliflower tasted like it had roasted for a long time. Better still, none of the lovely flavors of the fond were lost.

I can certainly see doing this with other veggies like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots or mushrooms.

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