How to Love Cauliflower

Cauliflower starts as an oversized, colorless, and occasionally, smelly vegetable. But this albino vegetable has so much to offer, beyond traditional uses. Cauliflower has the power to be crispy, soft, spicy and/or creamy!

Cruciferous vegetables should be consumed 2-3 times per week, 1-1/2 cups for each serving. Cauliflower is packed with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Fiber, Omega 3s, and Vitamin B6.
Cauliflower is available in colors as well. Orange cauliflower contains 25 times the Vitamin A as white cauliflower. Purple cauliflower is packed with anti-oxidants found in red wine and purple cabbage.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup - Serves 6

This recipe accentuates the creamy properties of Cauliflower.

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, grated
2 (14.5 ounce) cans vegetable broth
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 cup grated cheese (swiss, cheddar, or monterrey jack)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and carrots and cook 5 minutes more. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Stir in cauliflower, cover, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Fold in cheese and stir until melted.
Puree in batches in a blender in the pot using an immersion blender. Return to low heat and stir in milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and sherry. Heat through. Serve garnished with parsley.

For something a little more intense, with heat, crunch, and a punch, try Jeremy Fox's recipe:
Cauliflower in a Cast-Iron Pot with Raw Cauliflower "Couscous" Garnish
2 medium heads (about 3 pounds) cauliflower
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter
2 Tbsp. vadouvan (spice mix); for substitutions, see note below
1 cup whole milk
20 thin slices baguette (preferably a day old)
1 Tbsp. shredded mint leaves
1/4 orange , finely diced
Microgreens , for garnish (optional); available at Trader Joe's stores


Note: As an alternative to using vadouvan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add 2 thinly sliced shallots and cook until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon curry powder and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut each cauliflower into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Season some of the sliced cauliflower (about 1 1/4 whole cauliflower) with olive oil and sea salt to taste, and roast in oven until slightly charred and tender, about 25 minutes.

Put butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow butter to melt, become foamy, and turn golden brown. Remove from heat and add vadouvan. Let vadouvan and butter sit for an hour.

Add all but 1/4 of the remaining raw cauliflower to a pot. Add milk and just enough water (no more than 1 cup) to almost cover cauliflower. Add 1 teaspoon sea salt and cook on low-medium heat until cauliflower is completely soft. Remove from heat, then puree in a food processor; strain through a fine sieve.

Brush baguette slices lightly with vadouvan butter; arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 5 to 6 minutes.

Roughly chop remaining raw cauliflower, then pulse it in a food processor. Transfer paste to a colander and use a spatula to push it through the holes to form little couscous-like balls; season "couscous" with 1 tablespoon vadouvan butter, mint, diced orange, and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Divide mixture into 4 parts and mold each to form an oblong ball. Take 4 mini cast-iron pots (or a shallow casserole) and layer roasted cauliflower and pureed cauliflower in them until filled. Top each with a ball of "couscous" and vadouvan butter; garnish with microgreens and serve with 5 slices of baguette.

Finally, for a touch of color and a dramatic presentation, this makes a great side dish year-round.

Roasted Tri-Color Cauliflower

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for greasing sheet pan
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1-2 dried red chilies or 1 fresh Thai chili (optional)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground peppercorns
1 head cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) cored and broken into medium florets
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 shallots
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a sheet pan or jellyroll pan with olive oil and set aside.
Mix the spices with oil in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower florets and onions and shallots and toss to coat. Add additional oil if necessary.
Transfer the vegetables to a baking pan, spread evenly. Roast until they're tender and the onions are caramelized, about 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer to large bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss, adjust salt to taste and serve.

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