Call of the Cauliflower
February 7, 2008 2:11 PM   Subscribe

I love Cauliflower! It's healthy and delicious! Help me find good ways to eat it! Right now, I've got one white and one golden head just waiting for adventure! Recipe suggestions?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur to Food & Drink (45 answers total) 81 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've never made it, but I have had it in Indian restaurants, and ...

posted by Comrade_robot at 2:13 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: This doesn't qualify as healthy but it's delicious:

Put the entire head into an enamled cast iron pan which has a cover.
Pour a container of cheeze whiz over it.
Bake until done.

Cardamom is a good seasoning for cauliflower. You can make a sauce and use it as the primary flavor.
posted by andreap at 2:15 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Cut it up into smaller florets, toss with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for about 45 minutes at 400. SO DELICIOUS. When I do this I end up eating the entire head at once.

Also, do a search for "cruciferous" -- someone asked just before the new year about how to eat more cruciferous vegetables and there were cauliflower recipes in there.
posted by loiseau at 2:16 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Mash em instead of having mashed potatoes!
posted by spec80 at 2:17 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: I made these cauliflower steaks with cauliflower puree a few weeks ago. Easy to make, and they turned out really well.
posted by cog_nate at 2:18 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: I don't much like cauliflower, but a friend of mine makes pureed cauliflower soup which I really like, and is a healthier alternative to cream of potato soup. Recipes abound online!
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:19 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Make a sugo (tomato sauce with fresh or canned tomatoes, olive oil, onion, cooked for about an hour on a low heat) then toss in cauliflower florets and some black olives. The cauliflower absorbs the taste of the tomato, and the olives give it that salt tang that bring out the delicate flavour of the cauliflower.

(How can such a beautiful and tasty vegetable smell so ghastly when going rotten?!)
posted by stenoboy at 2:20 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: On mashing, President's Choice sells a frozen shepherd's pie that uses mashed cauliflower instead of potato for the topping. It was actually pretty good. Maybe mix a little potato in there for consistency.
posted by GuyZero at 2:22 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Aloo gobi? Is so delicious!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:28 PM on February 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: In threads here and across the web you will find some tasty recipes for cauliflower popcorn. Some incorporate parmesan cheese and some don't. Here's one. I like it spicy and well-toasted.
posted by PY at 2:29 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: 1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets.

2. Toss with non-olive vegetable oil.

3. Roast in the oven at 350 until well browned.

4. Take a shitload of fresh smashed garlic cloves and shallots and cook them slowly in the pan until they are carmelized and brown and crispy. Do this on fairly low heat because you do not want to burn them.

5. Toss the roasted cauliflower in the pan with the garlic and shallots.

6. To the cauliflower, shallots and garlic in the pan add, in this order: sliced fresh chilis (which you should allow to brown slightly along with the other veg); fish sauce (a little goes a long way, but I would use a fair amount--say 1-2 tbsp for a good sized head of caulifower); fresh mint (you can add fresh thai basil if you've got it).

7. If you would like some crunch, you can roast some cooked rice (in a pan in the oven) until crispy and toss it in.
posted by kosem at 2:32 PM on February 7, 2008 [3 favorites]

Best answer: 8. A squeeze of lime might brighten it up as well...
posted by kosem at 2:34 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Think it was an Alton Brown thing for Broccoli but sounds good for Cauliflower as well. Steam the veggies while you brown some Panko in a pan with butter. Toss veggie into panko and fry for a little while, add a crumbled up hard boiled egg if you like (I don't). Better the second day after living in the fridge and a quick microwaving.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:37 PM on February 7, 2008

On lack of preview, parmesan or romano, lime, or even vinegar (my family puts vinegar on ham and green beans like always.) sounds really good.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:41 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: eat cauliflower raw - cut up flowerlets in little pieces, put them all into a bowl, put some Caesar salad dressing into smaller bowl. Dip cauliflower into dressing, enjoy.
posted by seawallrunner at 2:44 PM on February 7, 2008

Response by poster: (I really love cauliflower)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:50 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Along the lines of what Metroid Baby suggests: cream of cauliflower and beet is one of my favourite soups. It's a good one for Valentine's Day because it's pink.
posted by ssg at 2:51 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Cut it into long little fingers.

Lightly brush with olive oil and dust with seasoned salt.

Voila! Caulifries!
posted by TheNewWazoo at 2:52 PM on February 7, 2008

Er, don't forget to bake at 400 until crispy. D'oh.
posted by TheNewWazoo at 2:53 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: No, really. Seriously. I mean it.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:06 PM on February 7, 2008 [4 favorites]

Best answer: After I asked about broiling, I made cut it up, drizzled with olive oil, ground pepper and garlic salt, and broiled it for like 20 mins. It burned and I was sad but then I was so hungry I ate some and omg. It was all soft and crunchy and delicious and I basically ate a whole head before my husband could get to it.
posted by sugarfish at 3:24 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I ADORE cauliflower. We cruciferians like, need a support group or something. This is my favorite recipe that incorporates cauliflower, but it sort of hinges on you also loving acorn squash.

Otherwise I usually add copious amounts of chopped fresh cauliflower to my salads, or for a dinner side I steam it lightly and toss with EVOO, red wine vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper.
posted by missmobtown at 3:25 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Nth-ing the high-heat roasting/broiling with just oil/salt/pepper. As sugarfish related, you pretty much want to let it go until it looks ruined. Dirt simple and very tasty.
posted by madmethods at 3:57 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Steamed, then mashed on heat with generous cream, butter, salt and pepper. Dee-lish!
posted by slogger at 4:30 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: I prefer Caulfilower raw so...

Garam Masala Gobi

1 head cauliflower
1/2 pound macadamia nuts
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbs celtic sea salt
3 tbs garam masala
cayenne pepper to taste
1 bunch cilantro

Break apart Cauliflower into florets and set aside. Blend macadamia nuts in high power blender with just enough olive oil to reach a creamy consistency. Add juice of lemon and salt and cayenne to taste and garam masala. Blend until thoroughly mixed. Pour sauce over florets and massage it into the cauliflower.

If you have a dehydrator, put it in there at 145 for 2 hours max. If you don't, put it in the oven on the lowest setting.

Cauli Mash

1 Cup cauliflower
1 cup pine nuts (soaked for 6 hours)
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
3 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tbs italian seasoning
1/2 tbs garlic, minced
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt
ground pepper to taste

Process everything in a food processor with S-blade until smooth. Add a little water if needed--you're looking for the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Spinach Cream Curry

3 cups spinach, chopped into fine strips
1 cauliflower cut into florets


1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp celtic sea salt
2 cardamoms, crushed
1 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
1 large tomato, chopped
1 1/4 tsp coriander
1 1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 1/2 cups coconut water
3-4 tsp chopped cilantro leaves
1/8 tsp paprika
pinch of cumin seeds

Blend sauce ingredients until smooth. Combine with veggies.

Cauliflower Couscous

2 heads cauliflower, finely ground in food processor (so it looks like couscous)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1 tbs plus 1 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 bunch of parsley leaves
1 bunch mint leaves
1 bunch cilantro leaves
1 13 ounce jar pitted greek olives

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
posted by dobbs at 4:56 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Aw man, it looks like there will be no more best answers. :(

Anyway, in the interest of cauliflower....

Slice a head of cauliflower into slices about 1 inch thick. Brown well in olive oil, in a large skillet, on one side. When the first side is brown, flip them over. Then toss in a diced onion, a few cloves of minced garlic, and about 1/2 teaspoon each of dried oregano and basil. Also, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to taste.

Continue to brown on the second side, and let the onions brown too.

When cauliflower is browned on both sides, add about 1 cup of stock (chicken or veggie). You want to just cover the cauliflower. Let the stock come to a simmer. As the cauliflower gets tender, mash it with a fork. You want break up the cauliflower slices, reduce the stock, and end up with a chunky sauce. Cook until you achieve this. (About 10 - 15 minutes.) Add more stock if it starts to get too dry.

When you get there, turn the heat off. Add 1 teaspoon of grated lemon zest and a dollop of cream or half & half. Stir well.

Toss with penne pasta and top with buttloads of parmesan cheese.

This is penne with cauliflower sauce, adapted from an old Mark Bittman recipe, and it will kick your ass.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:56 PM on February 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

Admiral Haddock-- yay aloo gobi! I could live on the stuff!
posted by nax at 5:21 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: There is an awesome Aloo Gobi recipe in the extras on the Bend It Like Beckham DVD. The director cooks her family's favourite recipe with her mum & sister.

Gorgonzola, cauli & walnut gratin
1 lrg cauli, broken into florets
2 tblspn butter
1 onion, chopped
3 tblspn plain flour
450 ml milk
159 g gorganzola
1/2 tspn celery salt
pinch cayenne
75 g chopped walnuts
parsley to garnish

boil cauli for 6 mins in salted water.
heat butter in large heavy based saucepan, add onion & cook over gentle heat until soft, without colouring. Stir in flour, then remove from heat.
stirring continuously, stir in milk a little at a time until absorbed by flour.
add cheese, celery saly & cayenne.
stir & simmer until thickened.
preheat grill
place cauli in gratin dish, spoon over the sauce, scatter walnuts in top. grill until golden (i like a bit of crunch).
garnish with parsely & serve with a salad.
posted by goshling at 5:51 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: Slice it in thin layers and alternate layers of cauliflower and potatoes in an au gratin casserole. AMAZING. Sprinkle a little paprika and breadcrumbs on the top, bake until brown and bubbly.
posted by SassHat at 6:14 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite things that my mom ever made growing up was marinated/ pickled cauliflower. Truly wonderful. Unfortunately she made it and I'm not a good cook and don't have the recipe. But send me an e- or mefi-mail if you'd like me to ask her for it.
posted by PhatLobley at 6:59 PM on February 7, 2008

Oh, yes, the aloo gobi from Bend It Like Beckham is very good.

Cauilflower cheese soup (I make it with potato and carrots in the mix, just like broccoli cheese soup) is one of my favorite things to do with cauliflower.
posted by Melinika at 7:15 PM on February 7, 2008

i hate cauliflower (hold on, i'm going somewhere with this) but i LOVE it in alfredo. i try to be sorta healthy, so one day i got the notion to make some pasta alfredo, but substituted half the pasta with cauliflower florets. it was actually way delicious.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:16 PM on February 7, 2008

Best answer: The following cauliflower monstrosity was a favorite among my siblings when we were growing up:

Mix mayo and yellow mustard and slather a head of cauliflower with the mixture. Cover with grated cheddar, bake until DELICIOUS.
posted by samw at 7:53 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I use Google Groups for recipe searches and I found this there a while back. It is UNBELIEVABLY addictive. No cooking required.

I never remember the olives. Plenty good without 'em.

Cauliflower Salad

1 1/3 cups salad oil (I use olive oil)
2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar (I don't use the sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil (I keep forgetting the basil too)
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups cauliflower florets
2 serranos or jalapeno chiles, seeds and stems removed, chopped
3/4 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

Combine the salad oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, basil, oregano, and garlic in a
glass jar with a lid. Shake the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and set aside.

Place the cauliflower and the serranos in a ceramic bowl. Shake the dressing again, pour it over the vegetables, toss lightly, cover, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Before serving, add the olives, the bell pepper, and toss the mixture.
posted by kristi at 8:16 PM on February 7, 2008 [2 favorites]

whole grain mustard complements cauliflower beautifully, either as a dressing for roasted cauliflower, or in a soup or mash. i make cauliflower/mustard/cheddar soup pretty often.
posted by judith at 9:01 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Steam the cauliflower first (not too much, though), then put it in a roasting pan, mix with salt/pepper as you like.
Slice some hard boiled eggs, mix them in with the CF.
Cover lightly with breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes...delicious
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 9:30 PM on February 7, 2008

Seconding Comrade_robot's suggestion. That's a clumsy name for the dish, I've always heard it as "gobi manchurian."
posted by theiconoclast31 at 10:15 PM on February 7, 2008

Mmm. I made that Aloo Gobi for dinner tonight. It was splendid, thanks!
posted by mumkin at 12:42 AM on February 8, 2008

Best answer: There's a fantastic cauliflower/broccoli recipe in Jamie Oliver's latest book - the one with all the vegetables. I've done it with either or both and it's great. You boil the cauliflower/broccoli for about 10 minutes; meanwhile fry garlic, thyme and anchovies in olive oil. Drain the cauliflower and add it to the pan then cook on a low heat for about 20 mins until the cauliflower is really overcooked and you can crush it up with a fork. You then use the mixture along with a tomato sauce (passata + red wine vinegar) and white sauce (Parmesan mixed into creme fraich) to make a pasta bake. The original recipe has you piping the mixture into cannelloni but I normally do it with big pasta shells or layered as a kind of lasagna. And you absolutely have to tear up fresh mozzarella and spread it on the top of the dish before you bake it.
posted by primer_dimer at 3:12 AM on February 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I saw this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin, Coriander, and Chili the other day on Tastespotting and thought it looked six kinds of yummy--plus easy to make.
posted by littlegreenlights at 9:18 AM on February 8, 2008

Best answer: The only way my kids will eat it:

Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Coat with beaten eat. Toss pieces in 2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs mixed with 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Put in greased casserole, dot with butter, and bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees.
posted by Flakypastry at 2:46 PM on February 8, 2008

posted by Flakypastry at 2:46 PM on February 8, 2008

Best answer: Okay, I have been eating the following mashed cauliflower recipe nearly every day for the last few weeks, and still am not tired of it. Me, I never really liked cauliflower before this, but found this to be a really satisfying substitute for mashed potatoes. It sounds like you have actual LOVE OF CAULIFLOWER so this may not rock your world like it does mine, but fwiw:

(Good for about 4 servings)

--Steam (or boil if don't have steamer) 1 head cauliflower til tender and mashable (~20 min steamed) (I have used white or golden type for this; not brave enough to try purple yet)
--At 15 minute mark, fry up 2 scallions or a few onions with olive oil
--Transfer fully steamed cauliflower to largish bowl, add ~3-4 tbl smart balance fake butter and ~2-3 tbl goat cheese. Pepper liberally; can also add garlic salt if desired.
--MASH with potato masher thingie.
--Add onions (best if they're browned).

(Again this recipe more or less disguises the cauliflower by mashing and liberally applying goat cheese and fake butter, so it may not do for cauliflower purist, but is good to me.) Good luck with cauliflower obsession!
posted by onlyconnect at 9:22 PM on February 8, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'm thrilled that nobody has brought up a risotto yet. Cauliflower demands to be risotto'd. (Gratin'd as well, but another subject entirely...) I'd like to claim I invented this, but maybe I didn't, but yeah, I think I did.
Roasted Chicken & Cauliflower Risotto

For a cauliflower risotto, you basically want to make a simple cauliflower soup and then use that soup as the stock in your risotto. Roast a head of cauliflower with salt/pepper/garlic/oliveoil, until golden brown (approx 50 minutes at 400 degrees). Reserve about 1/5 of florets for garnish, puree the rest with chicken stock, about 1/4 cup of cream, and water as necessary to get a good soupy consistency. Put all of this on a burner at a low simmer.

Right about now you want to start roasting your chicken (and roast tomatoes with it, if they're in season!). Any style is fine, I enjoy a salt+pepper+oregano seasoning with a whole lemon juiced over the chicken immediately after roasting, but chicken can be done a million ways, all great.

Now, make a basic risotto with your roasted cauliflower puree as the stock. Basically, dice one onion and a few cloves of garlic, and saute to transparent over medium heat. Crank it to full and toast 2 cups of arborio rice, and then after several minutes, deglaze with 1/2 cup of white wine, and begin the risotto-ing process. When you are done, will have realized the true potential of cauliflower, I hope. Season as much as you dare, but the roasted garlic and cauliflower really stand on their own; but a little nutmeg, masala, pepper, cream, butter, can't really hurt. Serve your roasted chicken with the risotto, top with your roasted floret pieces, and if available, garnish with some roasted tomatoes. (The acidity of the tomatoes will really blow your mind here, but out of season tomatoes are pretty depressing ;) Throw something green on the side and you're done.
posted by mek at 4:29 AM on February 10, 2008 [3 favorites]

I had some Gobi Lahsuni (Manchurian) last night at this restaurant. It was, like mostly all Indian/Chinese dishes I've had, complex and wonderful. I'm going to test it out in the lab this weekend, but it looks like a snap to make. Move it to the top of the list.
posted by kosem at 8:38 AM on February 12, 2008

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