Fancy Floretting

Fancy Floretting

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Fancy floretting … The love that we knew… When we were fancy free…

Fancy Floretting - duck fat roasted cauliflower florets, inspired by the musical The Boy Friend

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Back in the mid 1990s (best guess – no-one can actually remember because it was before calendars were invented) two of your three esteemed Cabernet editors took part in a production of The Boy Friend Angus played the role of Pierre (you shouldn’t have come – no wait – that’s another musical). I played the role of – actually nobody can remember (Fay? Nancy? Bingbong?). But she ended up dancing with Angus. This was pre-comedy vomit days, so you’ll have to forgive us if we were less than comedic (wasn’t there a hilarious bit of business with Angus dressed as a gorilla doing something inappropriate with Georgina? – Ed). Keith wasn’t born yet.

The Boy Friend is a wonderful pastiche comedy by Sandy Wilson, set on the French Riviera in the 1920s. It’s all finishing school and “Oh Tony!” and “What a lovely day for a dip in the sea!”  It’s probably best hammed up as much as possible, which just happens to be my go-to plan for every musical…

Fancy Forgetting is sung by Madame Dubonnet – the French school headmistress of the Villa Caprice, and Percy Browne (avec un “e'”). He’s the stuck-up English widowed father of Polly, our heroine. She falls in love with an errand boy, who (SPOILER!) turns out not to be quite who he says he is. Anyway, it turns out these two (the headmistress and the father) had a fling way back and although he tries to pretend it didn’t happen (haven’t we all been there?), she wins him over. She actually goes so far as to call him her “petit chou” – did she mean cabbage? Or was it short for chou-fleur (cauliflower)?

Fancy floretting
What I said to you
And what you said to me

This all leads very nicely onto this simple – yet SERIOUSLY delicious side dish. It’s cauliflower florets, roasted in duck fat. You’re going to LOVE it.

You’re going to need some duck fat, of course, which I believe that you can BUY – but actually the quickest way is to get a large ripe duck and squeeee… (Ed – thank you, thank you please, that’s enough). 

OK. Well if you roast a whole duck,  you’ll get a lot of duck fat, that’s all I’m saying. Keep it. Savor it. And use it to to roast more than just potatoes!

Fancy Floretting - duck fat roasted cauliflower florets, inspired by the musical The Boy Friend

Yield: 4

Fancy Floretting

Fancy Floretting
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 2 tbs duck fat, melted
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder or minced garlic
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a baking dish and add the duck fat, garlic, and seasoning. Turn to coat well.
  3. Roast for 15 minutes, then stir. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.
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