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Pan Seared Cauliflower and Spinach

My focus for November is side dishes! I have fallen into a rut since the birth of our youngest; I either serve a simple salad with a ferment or a steamed and buttered vegetable with a ferment, or even just a ferment. I also tend to cook a lot of one pot meals (with vegetables in them!). I haven't given sides much thought at all over the past several months unless we were having company over. I love veggies, so it is time that I shine a proper spotlight on them for my family. I am excited to start digging out some of my older long unused side dish recipes, to experiment with what I have on hand, and to head back to Nourishing Traditions for inspiration.

Today is one of those open the fridge and work with what I have left kind of day; which is lettuce mix, spinach and a whole head of cauliflower (we'll save the lettuce for later). While we've had plenty of cauliflower this year it has usually been as a substitute for something else; faux rice, zucchini and cauliflower pizza crust, more faux rice. This simple side dish is a chance to celebrate cauliflower in all its glory. Searing it seems to release more flavor than just steaming while the fresh garlic and spinach meld together and support the cauliflower.  An added bonus is that it doesn't take too much longer to make this fancier, tastier dish then it takes to make a quick steamed veggie.

Pan Seared Cauliflower and Spinach

1-2 TBSP pastured lard

1 head cauliflower, washed and cut into 1\4 inch pieces

8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 medium onion, diced

2 TBSP homemade broth or filtered water

2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach, washed and cut into 1 inch strips

1 TBSP grass-fed butter or ghee

1 tsp sea salt

Pepper to taste

Heat a large 12" cast iron pan up to medium high heat, once warm add the lard and stir it while it melts. Once liquid turn the heat up a little and add your cauliflower pieces and whole garlic cloves, allow it to sear and brown before turning the pieces over. Once the first side is browned and turned add your diced onion, again allowing it to brown undisturbed for a minute. Once the cauliflower, garlic and onion have reached your desired caramelization turn the heat down to low add the water or broth and cover.  Allow to cook for an additional 5 minutes or until you can easily slide a fork into a cauliflower bite. Remove cover and turn the heat up to medium. Add spinach and stir until the spinach is bright green and slightly wilted. Turn off the heat and add butter, salt and pepper gently stirring. Serve warm.

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