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Cauliflower Fit for a King

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Should you ever be in need of a Mardi Gras dish to compliment or substitute for King Cake, then the Weiser Family Farms stand at Hollywood Farmers' Market is able to help. The staggering array of potatoes and cauliflower in particular at this time of year should not be missed.

These cultivated hybrids are both psychedelically striking and damn tasty. In fact, we've noticed a recent profusion of purple cauliflower available from numerous vendors around the Sunday market, which might come into handy for meals in honor of the Lakers or a union gathering. (Wieser’s yellow cauliflower comes by way of the clever folks at the Cornell University agricultural school in “gorge-ous” Ithaca, NY.)

Lost in this particular mix pictured above is LAist's favorite -- broccoli romanesco. The groupings of chartreuse spiky swirling protrusions wouldn't look out of place in the background of a Hieronymus Bosch painting, should the peculiar Flemish master had choosen to include delicious produce to further articulate his allegorical visions of hell. (The mighty R.W. Apple likens this vegetable to prickly coral.) Sautee the broccoli with a generous amount of olive oil and salt, a couple diced high-quality anchovy filets, and red chile pepper flakes until it's all super tender, toss with pasta, and you’ve got a fantastic traditional dish common in Italy, rarely found here, yet easily replicated at home in So Cal.

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While East coasters are currently digging through piles of yellowed broccoli and other anemic produce trucked out from from the West coast or flown in from the southern hemisphere, LAist is thankful for the ever-growing local February produce bounty. Combined with the recent incredible nightly smells of fresh blossoms of all varieties, L.A. is the best place to be now.

Until next week when the party starts elsewhere. Granted we're Mardi Gras ignoramuses, but that event devolves into amateur night anyway, right?