Rediscover Cauliflower

If you’ve only had cauliflower raw on a crudité plate, it’s time to try it mashed, steamed, roasted and pulsed.

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
Mashed Cauliflower

Although cauliflower doesn’t seem to get as much attention as other vegetables, it’s worth taking a second look. It’s easy to prepare, delicious, versatile and a very good source of vitamin C. Cauliflower makes for memorable dishes like Red Lentils with Cauliflower and Chicken Sausage and Zesty Spiced Cauliflower. You’ll also want to add it to a salads, pasta dishes and more.

Cauliflower belongs to the brassica (cabbage) family, and while white cauliflower is more popular, there are also colorful green and purple varieties. All are delicious cooked or raw and can be used interchangeably in recipes. If you haven’t cooked with cauliflower lately, here are some of my favorite ways to prepare it.

  • Steam cauliflower florets; refrigerate for later use in quick cooking foods like omelets and scrambled eggs or tofu. Instead of “green eggs and ham” for breakfast, why not serve this Cauliflower and Parsley Omelet for Two made with green cauliflower?

  • Raw cauliflower makes a great dipper for hummus, bean dip, eggplant dip or cream cheese dip. Or, serve with your favorite creamy salad dressing.

  • Add raw cauliflower florets to chilis, soups and stews.

  • Steamed cauliflower is wonderful tossed with hot pasta, tomatoes and parmesan cheese or pasta sauce. Macaroni with Cauliflower and Tomatoes and Spelt Pasta with Walnuts and Roasted Cauliflower will hit the spot for pasta lovers.

  • Add cooked or raw cauliflower to a leafy green salad. For color and variety, add dried cranberries or cherries and roasted nuts like hazelnuts or pecans.

  • Have you tried a non-dairy creamy cauliflower soup? Simply simmer cauliflower and chopped onions or leeks in vegetable stock with herbs and seasonings. Purée and add either almond or coconut milk.

  • If you prefer to pass on the potatoes, try Mashed Cauliflower instead. Or, mash cauliflower with potatoes.

  • Roast cauliflower for a real treat. Toss one head of cut-up cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees F. until just tender, stirring occasionally. Roasted Cauliflower Steaks is a Health Starts Here® recipe flavored with lemon, garlic and parsley.

  • Toss steamed (but still crunchy) cauliflower with capers, sundried tomatoes and chopped green onions or chives. Toss with white wine vinaigrette dressing and a sprinkling of favorite grated cheese.

  • Cauliflower Couscous is a Health Starts Here® recipe made by pulsing cauliflower in a food processor to resemble couscous before cooking.

  • Got a hankering for Buffalo wings? Wait till you try our awesome Buffalo Cauliflower Bites.

  • A personal favorite is Sautéed Cauliflower with Romano and Walnuts. It’s really good with toasted pine nuts, too.

  • Melt cheese over steamed cauliflower, or make Cauliflower with Gluten-Free Cheese Sauce.

Cauliflower should have compact curds that are clean, uniform in color with no spots or bruising and firm to the touch. Keep cauliflower in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator in an open or perforated bag. It will keep for several days provided it is kept cold and hydrated. Be careful not to let cauliflower get too wet — excess moisture will brown the curds.
Are you a fan of cauliflower? Share your favorite recipe idea. 

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