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Cooking with Cauliflower – Our 10 Best Ideas

By Allison Kociuruba, September 30, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Allison Kociuruba
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?
Category: Food & Recipes, Produce




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!
09/30/2011 11:03:06 AM CDT
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!
09/30/2011 5:47:24 PM CDT
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.
09/30/2011 7:17:31 PM CDT
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...
09/30/2011 7:21:47 PM CDT
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!
09/30/2011 7:33:02 PM CDT
Frank says ...
Big fan of Gobi Aloo (Indian Style Cauliflower with Potatoes)..perfect dish for colder weather..
09/30/2011 7:55:23 PM CDT
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.
09/30/2011 9:10:30 PM CDT
Shartondix says ...
Cauliflower tabboleh(adapted from Alton Brown's Good Eats). Just use grated raw cauliflower instead of bulgar...Yum!
09/30/2011 9:34:41 PM CDT
Krista says ...
I love using cauliflower in place of rice to boost nutritional value and lighten up the meal. These recipes look great!
09/30/2011 9:49:43 PM CDT
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!!!
09/30/2011 9:52:27 PM CDT
Jeana Clarke says ...
Saffron Cauliflower Soup Recipe from the website Caviar and Codfish!! Or, Red Lentil Dahl made with Cauliflower!!
10/01/2011 12:50:02 AM CDT
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
10/01/2011 1:49:07 AM CDT
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.
10/01/2011 7:30:33 PM CDT
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!
10/02/2011 2:44:17 PM CDT
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.
10/05/2011 2:57:35 PM CDT
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.
10/05/2011 3:23:02 PM CDT
Danielle says ...
also try puree cauliflower with grated swiss cheese and nutmeg. so yummie!
10/05/2011 4:33:28 PM CDT
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 . . . . . . .
10/05/2011 4:56:09 PM CDT
tracy says ...
I agree with Karen-roast the cauliflower with salt and olive oil, but omit the cheese. Sensational!
10/05/2011 9:32:43 PM CDT
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.
10/05/2011 11:48:02 PM CDT
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
10/06/2011 10:52:12 AM CDT
janejohnson 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/
10/06/2011 1:29:45 PM CDT
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!!
10/07/2011 11:07:55 PM CDT
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.
10/08/2011 1:11:00 PM CDT
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)..
10/09/2011 1:53:36 PM CDT