This article was originally published in November 2013
This cream-colored cousin of broccoli and Brussels sprouts is a versatile base for everything from soup to coleslaw. It’s mildly nutty and sweet, qualities that can be accented or masked according to taste.
Smooth & creamy
Cauliflower puree is a delicious substitute for mashed potatoes; boil or steam until the vegetable is completely soft, then puree in a food processor until smooth. Dress it up with butter or olive oil for richness and a splash of cream or almond milk. Add salt to taste, and use either a bit of fresh grated nutmeg or a few fresh thyme leaves for extra flavor.
Firm & toasty
Roasting cauliflower in the oven gives it a caramelized flavor and lets it keep its firm texture. Cut into bite-sized florets, toss with olive oil and spread in a single layer in a shallow pan. Roast at 400° F for 25 minutes, until the edges have darkened. Top your roasted cauliflower with something as simple as salt, pepper and freshly grated Parmesan, or let it cool, dress with additional olive oil, and use in a salad with toasted pistachios and dried cherries.
Crisp & crunchy
You can coarsely grate a head of cauliflower for use in coleslaw or a salad. It holds its crunch nicely for hours and goes well with apples, pears and carrots. A mild buttermilk dressing or lemony vinaigrette complements the flavor.
See how PCC Chef Lynne Vea sear cauliflower with brown butter and truffle oil for a simple special occasion dish.