For the past 2 years, I have been a sucker for all things orange. I have tons of orange clothes, an orange couch, orange jewelery, and so on. A few days ago, NJPatty kindly gave me a cookbook by Mario Batali. I find his television persona grating, but even in my crankiness, I can’t fault his cuisine and his passionate celebration of fine, fresh ingredients. Plus, I am fond of his orangeness: his hair, his silly shoes, the freckles on his chubby face. I even found myself considering purchasing a set of his adorable orange prep bowls at the MoMA Design Store last weekend, even though I need more kitchen equipment like I need another hole in the head.

So this weekend, I decided to christen my new orange cookbook, complete with a color-coordinated marking ribbon, by trying his recipe for cauliflower soup, and what should I find at the local greenmarket but gorgeous ORANGE cauliflower?

How perfect; I love cauliflower but tend to overlook it because it has such a bland appearance. Finally, there’s a variety whose color reflects its bright, pretty flavor. Apparently, it only hit the market in 2004 and is even higher in vitamins A and C than the pale original. The soup was delicious and nourishing, a perfect start to my favorite time of the year for cooking. They say that if a cookbook has two or three recipes that go into regular rotation, it’s a keeper, and I can see that there are quite a few in this one that will spice up my repertoire.