Tuesday, December 2, 2014

So Many Ways to Use Cauliflower

I was never really wowed by Cauliflower. Growing up I always had it as part of a medley along with Broccoli ( one of my favorites as a kid) and Carrots.  My mother would boil the medley and season it with butter, salt and pepper.  I ate the Cauliflower first because it had the least flavor, then I would savor the carrots and broccoli.  But this past summer something wonderful happened, I lead a group of 20 people on what I called a "Summer Bounty" challenge.  This challenge consisted of all fruits and vegetables that are available in the summer. This is where my love of Cauliflower came to me.  In the 21 days without Pasta, Rice and Potatoes, Cauliflower became all of those things to me.

Taking Cauliflower buds and adding them to a high powered blender until a grain like consistency and roasting in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes on a sheet pan became our Rice.

Making a mixture of Chickpea flour and water and coating the cauliflower and baking it on a greased sheet pan in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes and pouring a Paleo hot sauce over it made it into Buffalo wings.

Since the summer you are sure to see Cauliflower in my shopping cart both fresh and frozen.  Cauliflower is available at our house so often that my 10 year old roasts it herself with salt, pepper, olive oil and garlic and eats it like popcorn.  Then a couple of weeks ago when walking through the Produce department I saw this guy.

This is Romanesco, this beautiful fractal caught my eye and I knew I had to have it.  Native of Italy and  widely available in the Spring and early Summer, Romanesco can be found all year long in some specialty markets.  The flavor is that of Broccoli and Cauliflower having a baby.  It's firm texture makes it great for oven roasting and spicy seasoning like my Roasted Curried Vegetables recipe.

Roasted Curried Vegetables

1 head of Romanesco ( cut the head in half, cut florets off of middle stalk)
1 head of Cauliflower ( cut head in half, cut florets off of middle stalk)
1 cup of unsweetened Almond milk
3 Tablespoons of All Purpose Flour
1 cup of warm water
4-5 tablespoons of Curry powder( more if you can take the heat)
 1 yellow onion diced
1 clove of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons of Safflower oil

Preheat oven to 400. Coat the Cauliflower and Romaneso with 1 Tablespoon of Safflower oil and place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast the vegetables 15-20 or until browning. Remove and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the garlic and onion and the remaining Tablespoon of oil and sauté until the onions are opaque.  Add the Roasted vegetables to the pan and mix well. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and mix until all vegetables are covered.  Add the milk, water and the Curry Powder and stir and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer until the liquid is reduced about 3-5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot with Brown rice.

These are just some of the ways I love to use Cauliflower, What are yours?

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