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Cooking with Cauliflower – Our 10 Best Ideas

A member of the cabbage family, cauliflower is a hearty vegetable that rarely gets the spotlight. Packed with vitamin C and delicious raw or cooked, it’s time to give this versatile veggie a nod and explore the many ways in which cauliflower can be enjoyed. Most of us are familiar with white heads of cauliflower but there are also colorful varieties of cauliflower that come in greens and purples. When choosing what to put in your basket, look for heads that are uniform in color with no spots or bruises. Cauliflower will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator but for the best flavor, cook soon after buying. Now that you know what to look for, here are ten ways to cook with cauliflower!

1. Cauliflower is an ideal crudité. Its mild flavor lets you enjoy whatever dip you like and its sturdiness will never disappoint. Break a head of cauliflower into medium-sized florets and serve with your favorite creamy dressing.

2. Steam cauliflower and puree or mash with just enough milk to make smooth for an alternative to mashed potatoes. Season with salt and pepper or add a favorite fresh herb. Here’s our recipe for Mashed Cauliflower.

3. Add small cauliflower florets to a pot of your favorite chicken or turkey soup instead of noodles.

4. Make a bright and tasty bowl of pan-steamed cauliflower with our Zesty Spiced Cauliflower recipe.

5. For a busy weeknight, try this colorful one-pot salmon and rice pilaf with cauliflower: Wild Coho Salmon with Sunshine Rice.

6. Add cauliflower florets to your favorite chili recipe or try ours for Bison Chili.

7. Sauté small cauliflower florets in olive oil with sliced garlic until golden and tender. Toss with fresh chopped thyme and a splash of lemon juice just before serving. Or, sauté in coconut oil and stir in a pinch of ground curry, cumin and ginger. Serve topped with toasted coconut.

8. Cauliflower purees to make a silky smooth soup. Simply sauté onion, garlic and cauliflower until golden. Add vegetable or chicken broth and heat to a boil, simmering until cauliflower is tender. Puree in a blender and season to taste or try our Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup.

9. Make our Spicy Cheddar-Jack Cauliflower Dip for fall football watching!

10. Roast it! Preheat oven to 400°F and toss 1 head cauliflower, separated into florets with olive oil, salt and pepper and a teaspoon of caraway seeds. Roast until golden and tender, stirring occasionally.

Tell us, what’s your favorite cauliflower creation?

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58 comments

Comments

Sydney says …

I recently found a recipe for pizza with crust made from cauliflower!! It's pretty good! I am not a cauliflower fan but you can't even taste it! http://www.eat-drink-smile.com/2011/04/cauliflower-crust-pizza.html

Matthew says …

Grilled cauliflower steaks! Cut into 1/2 slabs, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and thyme. Grill 4 mins a side on high. Sprinkle on some parmesan and eat.

donna says …

Roasted Cauliflower: Cut the cauliflower head into fan shapes, drizzle with oil, place on sheet in hot oven to roast for 40 minutes. Lightly salt and serve. Has a nutty flavor.

Kamila Straker says …

My best suggestion is to steam it lightly and then coat it with all purpose flour, then whisked egg and then bread crumbs. Fry it on a pan until light brown and enjoy with potatoes and tartar sauce. recipe from the Czech Republic It's absolutely delicious.

Shartondix says …

Cauliflower tabboleh(adapted from Alton Brown's Good Eats). Just use grated raw cauliflower instead of bulgar...Yum!

Krista says …

I love using cauliflower in place of rice to boost nutritional value and lighten up the meal. These recipes look great!

Fatima says …

pickled cauliflower! Just throw it into a canning jar with plenty of salt, vinegar and water and let it pickle with some beets to get a red coloring to it. Yum!!!

Lynne Maxwell says …

When you're offering 10 or so recipes from one chef, featuring one ingredient -- e.g. today's CAULIFLOWER, why don't you offer the recipes in easy sequence? I tried to copy the first recipe, then couldn't find numbers 3, 3, etc. Must it be such a chore to use the materials you want us to try? Or else, tell us how to proceed from one to the next . . . . . . .

says …

@Lynne I'm terribly sorry for your frustrating experience. Thank you for your suggestion. It's this type of communication that helps us to continually improve our processes and better serve our customers on a consistent basis. May I suggest our recipe website for step by step instructions for all recipes covered? The link below will take you directly to that site where you can search by ingredient, dietary need or occasion. Happy cooking! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/

MaryAnn Byrnes says …

Great ideas! Here's another that's a lot like the one Dave mentioned. Cook the cauliflower "Rice". and then mix in about half a cup of crumbled blue cheese - oh my! Good enough for company, too.

Amy says …

Everyone in our extended families loves the cauliflower cheese pie from the original Moosewood Cookbook. So good! It has a potato crust - kind of like a giant potato pancake in a pie plate, and just the right ratio of cheese to cauliflower.

Danielle says …

also try puree cauliflower with grated swiss cheese and nutmeg. so yummie!

tracy says …

I agree with Karen-roast the cauliflower with salt and olive oil, but omit the cheese. Sensational!

Tammy says …

We love to stuff past shells with a mixture steamed, mashed cauliflower and ricotta cheese. We cover the shells with spaghetti sauce and a sprinkle of good parmesan cheese and bake it for a YUMMY dinner.

Dottie says …

The spicy cheddar-jack cauliflower dip is absolutely wonderful. I am not a football watcher but this works for watching Survivor on TV....thank you

KarenP. says …

We love this version of a "raw potato salad" and have started using it for all our bbq's and picnics: 1 juice of 1 lemon 1 cup water (start with 1/2 cup, adding more as needed for desired consistency) 1 clove garlic, grated 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 cup cashews (soaked 3 hrs & drained - or can substitute with 1 cup plain hummus) 1 tablespoon dry mustard (or can substitute with 2 Tbsp whole grain mustard) 1 tablespoon vinegar 1 stalk of celery, chopped finely 1 cup cauliflower, chopped 1 tablespoon (heaping) sweet pickle relish 1 green onion, chopped Blend lemon, water, garlic, salt, and cashews until smooth. Stir mustard and vinegar into dressing. Add in celery, cauliflower, relish, and onion and stir until combined. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to combine. Fabulous!!

Dori D'nae says …

Cauliflower spaghetti sauce! i caramelize onion and cauliflower as the "meat" for a vegetarian/vegan tomato spaghetti sauce and serve over spaghetti squash, so its gluten-free too.

Nazneen says …

My one of my favourite ways to make cauliflower is to spread a layer of spicy cauliflower in an Indian flatbread, called Gobi Paratha. So delicious!

Dave Lore says …

We stopped eating carbs long ago but I still enjoy making stir fry. But what the hell??? Stir fry without rice...so I grate the cauliflower with a box grater...add it to a microwave safe covered dish...add a big honkin' pat of butter then fresh ground black and red pepper...microwave for 5 minutes and you have a rice substitute that we prefer to the real stuff now...

Deb says …

This sounds great! But you simply must try some Himalayan pink salt. I get mine from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com. The flavor is so much better than regular salt! Thanks for sharing this recipe—I can’t wait to try it!

Karen says …

This is super simple - toss florets in olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for about 20-30 minutes at 400' until tender. Top with grated cheddar cheese and heat for another 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted. Yum!

Frank says …

Big fan of Gobi Aloo (Indian Style Cauliflower with Potatoes)..perfect dish for colder weather..

Jeana Clarke says …

Saffron Cauliflower Soup Recipe from the website Caviar and Codfish!! Or, Red Lentil Dahl made with Cauliflower!!

Denise Nagelsschmidt says …

I bought a wonderful purple cauliflower at the Farmers Market last week, roasted it along with a garlic bulb and made the a wonderful soup!

Meg Bressette says …

Cauliflower chow chow is fantastic. Also cooking cauliflower in olive oil with sliced garlic and red pepper flakes (I often add anchovies as well), salt & pepper to taste until browned and tender (low & slow) is amazing. Top with some freshly grated parmesan. Cauliflower is a must in curry recipes. Also top Oriental Orange Chicken (chicken marinated in sherry and corn starch, then sauteed with fresh garlic, ginger until cooked through, add orange juice and some honey & a splash of tamari to pan, cook to thicken, add water chestnuts, other vegetables such as pea pods, broccoli rabe, onions, peppers - serve with brown rice and topped with steamed cauliflower - amazing and so much healthier than takeout orange chicken)..

Megan says …

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have been searching for a cauliflower recipe that my boyfriend will eat! I have always loved Cauliflower and my boyfriend refuses to eat it! Now that we have switched over to a vegetarian diet, I look forward to making some of these recipes, especially the Spicy Cheddar-Jack Dip-YUM!

sue says …

Tangy tomato and cauliflower soup. This is dead easy! I used 2 tins of tomatoes, 2 onions, about half a dozen decent sized cauliflower florets (I used frozen), garlic powder, dried mixed herbs, lemon juice lime juice, a teaspoon of vegetable oil, sea salt and aromatic pepper from grinders. place the cauliflower in a microwavable bowl and microwave until it is soft. I needed 8mins. Roughly chop or slice the onions. Put lemon and lime juices into a large saucepan with the garlic herbs salt and pepper and warm on a medium heat. Add the onions and mix together until they are soft but not stodgy. Add the tomatoes and stir together. You may need to reduce the heat. Next use a blender to mash the cauliflower I added some butter to it for a creamier texture. Add this to the saucepan and stir together. Now you can do your taste test. I added a bit more lime juice to it for a more zingy taste but you can add anything you like. I've never done anything like this with cauliflower before but I can assure you that after eating a bowl of it for my tea it was delicious. I had to let you know about my success thanks to your site! It made enough for four generous portions, or it would stretch to make six smaller starter sized portions if you are entertaining friends with a meal.

Dr. M says …

Having diabetes, I can't have mashed potatoes, so I make garlic-cheese mashed cauliflower. Cook some cloves of garlic with the cauliflower, and when you are mashing them, add whatever shredded cheese you like. Delicious! Fools people all the time. They think they are eating garlic-cheese mashed potatoes.

Lorenzo Swanson says …

We should try some of these methods of cooking Cauliflower at home. Especially roasted with garlic, parsley, and Parmesan cheese. Hubby Loves Lisa!

Clement says …

All look very good can't wait to try

Carolyn says …

I wanted to pin this. Where is your pin button.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@CAROLYN - We feature a Pin It button on each of our recipe pages for easy access. I will pass along the suggestion to feature it on our blog pages but in the meantime, you can download a Pin It widget for your browser that will allow you to pin any page from any site!

Diane Phillips says …

This looks like we will love these recipes! Thanks for sharing.

sonya says …

Dice onions, celery, bell pepper. Add cauliflower florets,; whip in beat eggs. Use hot skillet,spray pam cooking oil,scoop in veggie mixture, cook, awesome veggie patties, delish.

Texas2Step says …

A friend from France taught me this simple, delicious recipe: Peel and cube three large potatoes, clean and cut up one head of cauliflower. Cover all with water in a large pot, bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer, stirring occasionally, cooking until soft. Drain, add 4 tbs of butter and a half cup of milk, mash and stirt until smooth. While the mash is still hot, add two cups of shredded swish cheese and stir in until melted. Serve warm as a side dish.

PStroud says …

I use diced Cauliflower in taco, chili, and spaghetti in place of hamburger meat. It's wonderful and greatly decreases fat and calories. Try it.

Victoria Hall says …

There is a restaurant in pine Colorado that serves fried caulitflower for an appetizer its out of this world

Kim says …

This site has several awesome and unusual cauliflower recipes, including 2 types of cauliflower "rice," cauliflower pizza crust (dairy-free), and even cauliflower brownies! I've tried all these recipes and they are great. http://guesswhoscooking.com/tag/cauliflower/

Trudy says …

Steam cauliflower head or florets. Meanwhile melt half cup butter till brown, add sliced almonds to butter. Pour brown butter mix over cauliflower for a great nutty flavor.

Diane King says …

caluliflower

Caprice says …

These are great ideas. I have tried to keep my families daily diets from being boring, introducing them to many different foods in a variety of ways for over 16years. I'm proud to say, my boys are not picky eaters because of it. Yet, I never ever thought of cauliflower in these ways. Thank you so much.

Tina says …

Great ideas ... sharing now with my followers @cheftini

Paula says …

I make a delicious Cauliflower Soup. Simply sauté chopped onions and celery in butter till translucent. Add one large container of chicken broth and cauliflower broken into florets. Simmer until cooked and add salt, pepper and dill to taste. I use a potato masher to crush the cauliflower and add a dash of evaporated milk to give a creamy texture. Delicious!

Marge says …

Why provide a recipe and then not let me print it? I don't want to save it, I want to print it for a try out.

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@MARGE - You should be able to print from the File option of your browser, or you can cut and paste in to a word document for easy printing.

Laurie Struble says …

They ALL sound good!

dorothy berton says …

this one my family has loved for years. Bread the cauliflower with your choice of breading, try to make the florets some what similar in size. I use peanut oil to fry them, but again, your choice of oils is fine. Fry until crispy, drain and serve, It works well with oven fried chicken and a fresh salad with a balsemac vinegar dressing. Magically, it is gone.

cookaholic13 says …

good ideas to try

Muffy says …

they all look good...one thing, though - the curried soup uses almond milk and I am allergic to tree nuts; will have to substitute

tiiu simms says …

this is wonderful

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