Five Ways to Enjoy Any Color of Cauliflower!
Winter cruciferous veggies are arriving at your farmers' market. Also called "cole crops'" broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and cauliflower are in this family and are known for their high nutritional value and lovely mild flavor. Cauliflower has been underutilized by chefs and home cooks for many years, but it is recently being rediscovered as people find more creating ways to enjoy it. How can you pass it up with its sweet, mild, and slightly nutty flavor? As an added bonus, it is packed with essential nutrients, heart healthy compounds, fiber, and phyto-chemicals that help prevent cancer.
And cauliflower isn't just white anymore! The renewed interest in cauliflower can also be attributed to the many beautiful colors and shapes they can be found in. They are available in light green, pale orange, and pale purple colors. (Flavors are basically the same as a white cauliflower.) Also of interest is the fascinating, alien-looking Romanesco variety with its many-pointed florets. Here are 5 ways to really enjoy the subtle and delicious flavors of cauliflower:
- Soup: Purée cooked cauliflower, add fennel seeds and your other favorite herbs and spices and serve as soup.
- Smash: Mash cooked cauliflower like you would potatoes, add a bit of butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh chopped parsley. Top with cheese, if desired. Mashed cauliflower can be used as sauteed patties, as pizza crust, or as a "tortilla."
- Saute: Sauté florets in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, until softened and slightly browned to bring out their flavor.
- Roast: Toss florets with olive oil, salt, pepper, and touch of tumeric in a bowl, place on a baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, tossing after 15 minutes.
- Stir-fry: Stir-fry with pea pods and broccoli for a few minutes, add teriyaki sauce or other stir-fry sauce and cook until desired softness. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice.