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Any recipes to make cauliflower hater love cauliflower?

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  • Lipps Feb 16, 2006 05:51 PM
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Want to make it palatable for my cauli hating husband! Any ideas?

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  1. Hard to say without knowing what he hates about it. The taste? The texture?

    How about cauliflower mash as an alternative to mashed potatoes? I've also taken the mash, mixed it with some cheese, sprinkled with parmesan, and baked into a pungent cauliflower cheese casserole. It's hard to even identify it as cauliflower; it just tastes cheesy and creamy. It also an easy way for two people to finish an entire head of cauliflower.

    4 Replies
    1. re: nooodles

      I concur with this...my husband will eat these "mock mashed potatoes" just fine, and he's a cauli-hater, too. :)

      If you're trying to be healthier, forgo all the cheese, and just use a little fat-free half-and-half and light butter. It's still great!

      1. re: wyf4lyf

        the classic no carb substitute. you could even cool it and use it as a substitute for your favorite potato salad recipe.

        1. re: byrd

          I've used the mashed cauli as a topping for shepherd's pie - mine's veg, but yours can be the meat kind...

          My mom also makes warm cauli salad with a shallot and anchovy vinaigrette that she pours over the top after roasting. It always disappears fast.

      2. re: nooodles

        We do Cauli. Mashed every week. We use about 1/4 cup of Potato Flakes added at the end. Cauli. is braised in stock and Fat Free Half and Half and Promise Marg. are also added at the end. It is our starch and our veggie. True comfort food.

      3. Roasted cauliflower can be amazing, and cauliflower soup is a great way to deal with any texture issues he might have. Sorry I don't have any specific recipes...

        1. Mrs. Swift HATES cauliflower but does she love roasted cauliflower soup. The trick is to roast the cauliflower flowerettes until very brown and caramelized, and to use a very rich chicken stock.

          1. par-boil the cauliflower (or steam) lightly until tender but firm. cut in to bit sized florettes.

            saute chopped onion (about a cup) in evoo or butter until browned. toss in cauli & chopped ham, until coated and ham is heated (this assume pre-cooked ham steak or similar).

            toss w/ cheese sauce of your choice (lots of great stove top mac & cheese recipes lately). top with bread crumbs if you like. bake until bubbly. I prefer a grueyere based sauce.

            it is not low fat, but he'll eat it up. :) you never new cauliflower could taste so good.

            1 Reply
            1. re: withalonge

              Yup, that's pretty much how I'd do it too. You can also just toss the cauliflower in hot butter and chopped cooked bacon, season generously and put it into a gratin pan with either a cheese sauce (really sharp cheddar is my choice) or just plenty of grated mixed cheeses and some panko crumbs and put that into a hot oven for a while. Do NOT overcook it, though, or it'll get all burnt-rubber cabbagey on you and Mr. Cauli-hater will probably run out the door!

            2. I turned around a cauli-hater once,
              With a recipe from Biba's Taste of Italy..fritti

              Basically, you shake cauliflower florets up with seasoned flour, fry, and salt.
              This is a divine appetizer, must be still warm and fresh. I put a little chopped parsley along with the salt, hot out of the pan.

              1. I saute it with shallots and add lots of red pepper flakes. Or throw it in the pan when making linguini with clams.

                1. I too am not a cauliflower lower but roasted (florettes cut in half) until it's brown and caramelized, makes me a convert (at least to that style of preparation).

                  1. As a cauliflower loather, I am extremely skeptical and am anxious to hear how it goes. (I have yet to be met with a way in which someone can 'hide' cauliflower to make me like it - BLECHY!!!) Please post what you do and how it goes...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: krissywats

                      Love the word Blechy! Will keep you updated. Did make one gratin with half broccoli, half cauli - tripled the bread crumbs, parmesan and cream and included tons of butter - this worked pretty well - but the taste of the cauliflower was majorly masked IMO!

                      1. re: krissywats

                        Roasted cauliflower tastes good because it completely changes the taste, texture and appearance. Roasted cauliflower is a different vegetable with a mild sweet taste and a soft nubby moist texture. The cauliflower is transformed into something pleasing to eat. It even looks better. The edges are a carmelized brown, more like hash browns or something else delicious. The bland whiteness, bitter taste and rock hard consistency is gone. I was very surprised.

                      2. Whenever I want someone to like a vegetable that they don't, I make a gratin. The cheesy creamy goodness blinds their prejudices.
                        You could also par-boil it, chop it into finer pieces, add to favorite marinara and place over pasta. Both the taste and texture are subdued, but the marinara helps to appreciate the sweetness.

                        1. A silly question-your husband is an adult, he can pick and choose his likes and dislikes. Unless eating caulifower is a matter of his life or death, why is it important to make him love this particular vegetable?

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: annie

                            Let me take a stab at this; even though I wasn't the OP, I can relate to the post. I want my family to eat healthier...my husband wants to eat healthier, too, but doesn't like many veggies...and I don't want to only cook green beans. :) So I try to find ways to make those disliked veggies more palatable. Cauliflower is high on the list. Sure, husband is an adult, but I'm the one that does the cooking and feeding around here, so it's up to me to find ways to serve tasty, healthy meals that everyone will eat and hopefully even enjoy.

                            1. re: wyf4lyf

                              Plus, sometimes it's just fun to prove to someone that something he's always hated can be good. Maybe he's just never had well cooked cauliflower!

                              1. re: nooodles

                                You all have points that make sense - except for the person who called the question silly. Thanks for the support everyone else.

                                The actual reason is sort of long - and I figured I'd just ask the question without giving tons of backgrond info - but then you get people calling your question silly!

                                After I had a c-section 3 months ago, I was unable to leave the house for a while and do my normal shopping for fruits and veggies - and my husband works many hours - so I found a local co-op that delivers organic fruits and vegetables from farms within 100 miles of L.A. The best deal is the weekly box where you don't choose what you get. You get several weekly staples, but also seasonal and special items. We are always looking to eat healthy - and husband loves most veggies - especially broccoli - but says he hates cauliflower. I wondered if he'd never had it cooked well, and if I could find a way to use it so we could both enjoy it and it wouldn't go to waste.

                                I found a recipe for broccoli gratin and substituted cauliflower - and my husband loved it. It was so filled with butter and cheese - it kind of masked the cauliflower - but it was good! I just thought this would be a good place to find some other great recipes.

                                Now, I hope the person who quickly judged me and called me silly feels silly. And thanks again to everyone else.

                                1. re: Lipps

                                  OMG, you just had a c-section AND you care about making food your husband will enjoy. I would just boil it and make him eat it (I like boiled cauliflower). You are an angel.

                                  Best to you and your little one!

                                  I think the next step after gratin is roasted until very well caramelized.

                                  1. re: nooodles

                                    Hubby has been fabulous - he works early morning and late night and uses any free time to help and support me - picking up food, changing the baby, doing all the laundry, etc. It's truly my pleasure to cook him something yummy if possible - plus I get to eat it too!

                                  2. re: Lipps

                                    Congrats on your new baby!! I had my 2nd one via c-section, so I know how the recovery time can be. Hope you are doing well now.

                                    I used to get the organic produce box delivery, too. It was so hit and miss, though, and at the time my kids were little and pickier than they are now and I found a lot of it went to waste. But it was wonderful produce!!

                            2. 1. roasted cauliflower. just cut it up, sprinkle with salt and cumin, hot oven till brown. my husband, who wouldn't touch cauliflower before, loves this and will eat most of it unless i hoard some on my plate first.

                              2. sometimes you can't make someone love a food they just don't like. try, but don't take it personally if he just doesn't like it. it's disappointing, but variety makes the world go round.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: hobokeg

                                Laurie Colwin wrote on this topic -- to the effect that it is a worthy pursuit to attempt to ply someone with vegetables, such as one who proclaims they hate all vegetables, and she encouraged disguising the vegetable, such as in fritters. However, she also wrote that if someone hates one particular vegetable . . . well, a life without lima beans can be a fine, full life.
                                I had success feeding cauliflower to teens with a Marcella recipe -- dot cooked cauliflowerettes w/ butter and grated parmesan and bake. Yum. One said: I didn't think I liked cauliflower before!

                                1. re: hobokeg

                                  I think roasted is the way to go. There's a whole thread and recipe on egullet re roasted cauliflower, which I think originated from an article by Amanda Hesser in the NYT.

                                  It's absolutely delicious and does taste a little like french fries. Slice a whole head of califlower in 1/4" slices, toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper, spread out on a baking sheet and roast for about 1/2 hour at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.

                                  I can eat a whole head of it myself this way.

                                2. I concur with all the suggestions for roasting. It can then be added with sausage sauteed with garlic for a yummy pasta topping.

                                  1. I started off eating Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, and Broccoli with a cheese sauce, I can now eat them without the sauce.

                                    1. I love roasted cauliflower, but this is a childhood favorite and really tasty too.

                                      Blanch cauliflower and divide into florets. Dip florets in flour, then coat in beaten egg, then salted breadcrumbs. Serve with tartar sauce and buttered boiled potatoes.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Sir Gawain

                                        I'm guessing you then fry the cauliflower?

                                        1. re: Candy

                                          Oops! Good point, yes. I hate raw egg and breadcrumbs.

                                      2. My mom got my sister and me to eat both cauliflower and broccoli without protest. She boiled it and, while it was cooking, melted a stick of butter in a saute pan, waited until it had got to the noisette stage, and then threw in a ton of breadcrumbs. Once all the crumbs had absorbed the butter, the drained cauliflower or broccoli was tossed in the crumbs. I defy anyone to turn down that dish! (I never said it was healthy, but I suppose you could use Smart Balance instead of butter...)

                                        1. My grandmother makes broccoli and cauliflower this way and it's a special treat when I visit. It's not very healthy though so I don't make it for my husband who already eats enough unhealthy things- :-) Anyway, it involves cooking two heads of cauliflower. One of the heads gets cut up and goes into a blender with some milk, butter, and sugar. Puree, add salt and pepper to taste, then pour over the other cut up head of cauliflower. Heaven!

                                          1. Par boil a whole head, then spread beat-up egg on it, then cover with a mixture of bread crumbs and parmasean chees, then bake until its brown.

                                            1. I have 2 suggestions. First my vegetable avoiding husband likes it devilled; break into florets, steam until almost done but still crunchy, spread lightly with dijon mustard and top with bread crumbs mixed with grated parmesan. Bake until crumbs are crispy and golden. Another way I like it is chopped really fine ~ like bread crumbs (food processor good here), and mixed into equal parts light sour cram and light mayo, more grated parmesan and thinned with cold coffee and used as a dressing for hearty lettuces or cold vegetables. Really good and no one guesses the texture comes from cauliflower or the coffee as an ingredient. Good luck!

                                              1. I had some cauliflower haters over several months ago for an Indian meal and was saddened when they politely told me of this aversion. To my delight (and their surprise, I suppose), they finished off the offending dish. I'm not sure of the exact source, but it would have been some sort of spicy cauliflower-tomato saute from a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook.

                                                1. I'm not a big fan of many vegetables including cauliflower. Vegetables steamed or boiled on the plate usually are awful. My favorite version is aloo gobi, very spicy, heavy on the aloo and not too much gobi! I would suggest trying it this way and if it is well received, increase the cauliflower to potato ratio! Good Luck!

                                                  1. Also: cauliflower soup, preferably curried. It's so smooth and tastes so rich, he'll never know, esp. if you bump up the seasoning.

                                                    1. Until I went to lunch yesterday I couldn't conceive of being able to add anything to this thread. But the surprise hit of the meal was a Cauliflower Ceviche. The only recipe I could get from the Mexican chef was to just make ceviche but substitute cauliflower for the fish.