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1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp plus 1 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices bacon, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, small dice
4 medium carrots, small dice
5 medium stalks celery, small dice
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups green lentils
3 1/2 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock or water would also work)
Soft goat cheese, at room temperature, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss cauliflower florets with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread out on a baking sheet.
2. Roast cauliflower for 15 minutes until dark brown in spots, stirring halfway. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees F and roast for another 15 minutes to finish cooking through. Set aside.
3. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tsp olive oil. Add bacon and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
4. Add onion, carrots, and celery to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
6. Add lentils and stock to the pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 30 minutes, or until lentils are cooked through. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
7. Spoon lentils into bowls and top with roasted cauliflower. Top with goat’s cheese, if desired.

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Man-o-Meter*: 8/10
Man Comment: “There’s bacon in it.”

*A new tool in which my S.S. rates each dish based on its appeal to the general male audience. He is a Midwestern, salt-of-the-earth type, and is easy to please while, at the same time, provides polite feedback. Though not a chef or cook, but an eater of most everything (less mushrooms, calamari, raw onions, and offal), his opinions matter because, well, they do to me (awWwWwWw).

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This is more an idea than a recipe:

baguette, cubed
olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
green bell peppers
peaches
tomatoes
goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the baguette cubes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toast until golden brown, flipping halfway, about 10-15 minutes. Slice the peppers and cut the peaches and tomatoes into wedges. Toss with the toasted baguette cubes. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Top with goat cheese. Eat. Now. Before the peaches and tomatoes disappear for the winter.

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…it’s goat to be good. And that’s exactly what this is: Goat. I mean good. It’s goat cheese crostini with apple-onion chutney.

Start by toasting baguette that has been thinly sliced on a bias (yes, on a diagonal. I knew you knew that). While the bread is working in the oven, leave the goat cheese out to soften. Now, get started on the onions.

Slice them thinly and brown on medium-high heat in canola oil. Season with S & P (you know the stuff). While that’s happening, peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Reserve them in a bath of water and vinegar so that they don’t turn brown and gnarly. Once the onions have developed a nice deep caramel color, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the apples and a small knob of butter. Continue cooking until the onions and apples are soft, stirring occasionally.

Remember that bread? If you haven’t burned it at this point, slather each slice with goat cheese and top with the chutney.

We’re playing with contrast in this dish. The crunch of the crostini is the ideal base for the creamy goat cheese and soft chutney. The vinegar used to keep the apples from browning adds a subtle tart flavor, which works with the sweetness from the onions and apples.

Not sure about you, but caramelized onions always make me want to get naked.