Well, well hello, Cauli! Well hello, Cauli! It’s so nice to have you back where you belong…
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Hello, Dolly! is a musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and book by Michael Stewart. It opened on Broadway in 1964, and won 10 Tony Awards – including Best Musical. A movie version of the musical was released in 1969, directed by Gene Kelly and starring Barbra Streisand and Louis Armstrong (whose version of the song Hello, Dolly is probably the most famous).
The eponymous song appears in Act II when matchmaker and dance instructor Dolly returns to the Harmonia Gardens, a fancy restaurant in New York City. The staff are delighted to see her back, and decide that the best way to celebrate would be to roast a whole cauliflower in her honor. Well, that and sing her a song.
To prepare the cauli, remove all the leaves and trim as much of the stem as possible without it falling apart. Place in a large saucepan of water together with a vegetable stock cube, bay leaves, and dried thyme. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes.
You’re looking swell, Cauli,
We can tell, Cauli,
You’re still glowin’, you’re still crowin’
You’re still goin’ strong.
Remove the cauliflower from the saucepan (I used poultry lifters for this task!) and place it in a cast iron skillet – but save the cooking liquid. Spoon some of the liquid over the cauliflower, then pour some melted butter over it and grind some black pepper to season.
Place in a preheated oven for around 15 minutes, basting with more cooking liquid if the cauliflower looks too dry. Sprinkle over some fresh chopped parsley to garnish.
To serve, cut the buttery-soft cauliflower into wedges, and rejoice in this celebratory dish!