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Oh God, it's the cauliflower that ate Van Nuys!

  • d

This is the first year we've had a place with a yard big enough to grow produce. I pooh-poohed the people who said "only plant two of each thing", because as any good East Coast gardener knows, half your plants will die or need to be thinned for the good of the herd.

Not so in Southern California. They ALL sprouted.

So I just picked the first of our cauliflowers out of the garden (we got started late, thank God it's been a cool spring).

It weighs thirteen pounds.

I have seven others in development that are headed toward that size.

What on EARTH do I do with that much cauliflower, besides give it away? I already have plans for low-carb-type "mashed potatoes", and of course orecchiette with cauliflower, oil and garlic, but beyond just steaming it and eating it with cheese sauce or butter, what do I do with a hundred pounds of cauliflower?!

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  1. First, you take a photo with them. I have a small collection of me with giant vegetables/fruits bigger than my head. People are always very amused by these photos.

    Then, you make lots of cream of cauliflower soup. It will by no means deplete your supply, but it does take a lot to make one pot of soup. I don't have a recipe; I just use one for cream of broccoli and substitute. They taste nothing alike, of course. But they're both good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nooodles

      get lots of gas-x...sorry, but I had to say it!

      1. re: nooodles

        here's a recipe that i just loooove. i didn't have stilton, and it was really tasty even without it!

        Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

      2. make Cauliflower wine?

        Lately I've been eating my cauliflower fried in red pepper flakes. You can also grill it.

        I also add it to my linquini with clams. Hmm, maybe in tuna fish?

        Have I mentioned trying to make wine out of it? Oh wait, the summer solstice is almost upon us! The proper Swedish thing to do would be to make Cauliflower-flavored Vodka.

        1. Welcome to to your first experience with California Soil! :) EVERYTHING can grow in our soil... it truly is amazing! :)

          I LOVE Cauliflower! Anyway, my favorite way of eating is to lightly steam and then dredge in an egg white and flour fluffy batter and then fry. Prepare a chunky tomato sauce with Onions and Chile to go over it. I eat it all over rice and it's one of my favorite comfort foods... :)

          Although it will get a little hot here soon, you might also want to look into roasting recipes. One of my favorite things at AOC is their roasted Cauliflower vinegar and curry dish... Hmmm...

          --Dommy!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Dommy!

            The recipe for A.O.C.'s roasted curried cauliflower was in a recent issue of Bon Appetit. I've linked it below.

            Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

          2. I agree w/ nooodles, take a picture first and even better, post it here. :-)

            Here are some ideas:

            -Pickled (Asian or Italian style)
            -Roasted (see link for a playful recipe by the Surreal Gourmet for "cauliflower popcorn"; fun to serve in paper bags)
            -In light soup like Viet canh w/ pork spareribs, mustard greens, carrot, tomato
            -Steamed and finished w/ truffle oil
            -Gratineed w/ a bechamel sauce w/ vanilla bean (something I've been wanting to experiment with)
            -And when you really get desperate later...you could invent cauliflower ice cream!! (I'm half serious here)

            Link: http://www.tonyaspler.com/pub/article...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Carb Lover

              One more: East Indian cauliflower dish (I think called gobi aloo). One of my favorites!

              1. re: Carb Lover

                If you end up searching for a recipe you'll have more success searching for aloo gobi :)

            2. Pickled cauliflower is good. In mustard (god we used to fight over the cauiflower pieces in mustard pickles when i was a kid) also spicy cauliflower pickles with hot peppers. The good thing is that they will keep for quite awhile too.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Candy

                I wish I had thought to take a picture before I disassembled it... oh well.

                I disassembled it and sacrificed half of it to make six quarts (yes, quarts!) of giardiniera, which also used up some of the ridiculous number of carrots and chile peppers growing in the garden. The other half I'm going to tempura fry this evening... but there is so much more cauliflower out there that I think I will systematically work through the recipes youse have all posted.

                With any luck, the weather will remain cool another week or so and won't roast the cauliflower still on the plant! (I have lived here in the Valley for many years, I just never had a house with a yard until a couple of years ago, and we never got around to planting a garden until this winter.)

                I appreciate all your help!