White foods are often maligned as being nutritionally deficient – and although Cauliflower has long been appreciated in other cultures, it is only recently enjoying approval and accolades here, being praised as the new “super food”, and increasingly being included on fashionable menus.
We love this variety of cabbage in our home, and are always experimenting with recipes that feature it – although our standby is to simply roast the florets after tossing them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and ensuring an abundance to savor the next day (I like to dip it in a mixture of mayonnaise and siracha for breakfast).
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tin of anchovies, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
red pepper flakes to taste
1 pound pasta
grated parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt then pasta. Cook until al dente.
Over medium high heat, in a large pan, coat the bottom with olive oil. Let heat for a couple of minutes.
In a bowl, combine the garlic, the anchovies, fennel seeds and red pepper.
When the oil is hot enough, add cauliflower. Cook until golden brown all over, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
Add garlic mixture to pan, stir. Cook about 30 seconds, then add a ladleful of pasta water and pasta. Cook and stir until no liquid remains at bottom of pan. Remove pan from heat, add a splash of olive oil and grated cheese. Stir, taste and re-season as necessary.
Recipe adapted from The Amateur Gourmet
BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER BITES
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
BLUE CHEESE DIP
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 green onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
Heat oven to 425F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread cauliflower in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with garlic powder, toss and bake 15 minutes longer. Stir together hot pepper sauce and butter in a small bowl. Pour over cauliflower and toss.
FOR BLUE CHEESE DIP
Combine yogurt, green onion, blue cheese, mayonnaise and vinegar. Stir well. Serve with cauliflower.
Recipe adapted from Relish, January/February 2015
CAULIFLOWER PARMESAN GRATIN
1 head of cauliflower, trimmed, cored, cut into florets and cooked until easily pierced with a fork
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup whole milk
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Finely chop cauliflower. Over medium-low heat, heat butter in the pot until melted and foamy. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the milk and garlic and cook until mixture thickens slightly. Add the cheese, stir until melted. Stir in the cauliflower and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
CAULIFLOWER SOUP WITH RYE CROUTONS
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 heads of cauliflower, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces
6 cups chicken broth
5 thyme sprigs
1 cup rye bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch dice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the leeks and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and the apple and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the broth and thyme sprigs and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
Heat oven to 350F. Spread the diced rye bread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper and bake for about 10 minutes or until croutons are crisp.
Discard the thyme sprigs from the soup, puree soup. Season with salt and pepper (I also added white pepper). Ladle into bowls, top with a grind of black pepper and a scatter of croutons.
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, November 2006