1 cauliflower, with leaves
1 bay leaf
About 2 tbsp vegetable oil, such as rapeseed, plus a bit more
1 tbsp unsalted butter (optional)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
About 50-70 g lardons
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to the boil with the bay leaf. Add a large pinch of salt. Meanwhile separate the cauliflower into florets and reserve the leaves. When boiling, add the florets and leaves and cook until just tender. Time depends on the size of the florets but the leaves only need a minute or so; remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon and let dry. Chop coarsely and set aside. When the florets are almost completely tender, but not boiled to death, drain well.
In a large frying pan, combine the oil, butter if using, onions and carrots. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 5-8 minutes. Stir in the thyme and a generous pinch of salt.
Add the florets and leaves, and a bit more oil if it seems dry. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower gets browned on one side at least. Season lightly and stir well to combine.
Add the lardons and cook, stirring, until browned. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.