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Cauliflower? Ummm... Yummmm!

I just discovered roasted cauliflower! Who would have thought such a humble rough ball of pungent nubs could be so tasty!

I cut some florets up and also quartered a thick slice of red onion and rough chopped a clove of garlic for this experiment.

Drizzled with olive oil
Salt and pepper

Roasted on foil lined pan for about half an hour at 450 degrees
Transferred to a square stoneware plate thing I have
Drizzle freely with balsalmic vinegar
Put some grated parmesan and sharp cheddar over it
Warmed it up a bit in the oven

Served with a thick slice of french bread with butter and garlic powder from my brand new bread machine.

OOOOO man!

Any other yummy ideas for cauliflower? I'm sooo hooked!

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  1. I love cauliflower in any incarnation, raw or cooked. My most common prep lately is to melt some butter, stir in some curry powder or masala, break up the cauliflower head and put the florets into a baking dish, pour the butter mixture overtop and and roast.

    1. wow I really like your idea. sounds very healthy.

      i usually just have it raw in salads or make it as Indo-Pak food in a few recipes.

      This isn't very healthy, but it deep fries well, too. You can coat it lightly in salted flour and deep fry then salt it. Or you could rub it in turmeric, salt, and sugar and fry it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: luckyfatima

        Just last night I made a cauliflower gratin from the Bouchon cookbook - it was delicious.

        1. re: luckyfatima

          I have had balsalmic vinegar in my cabinet for a couple of years - yes, the same bottle. LOL I recently really discovered I love it this summer when I was experimenting with homemade salad dressing.

          Yesterday I bought some Gruyere at Trader Joe's when I was in the city. I can't wait to try grating it on my roasted cauliflower! Wish I'd thought of it last night.

        2. I too love cauliflower and I thought this was amazing. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          If you are looking to try it in a soup and like blue cheese, this is fantastic as well. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          1. I baste the whole thing with honey mustard several times during cooking when its almost finished cooking I'll top it with white cheddar.

            1. I love cauliflower. When you roast it, you might try adding different spices. I sometimes do it with cumin seeds.

              Making a family favorite tomorrow - pasta with cauliflower. I usually use small shells, and add a bit of hot pepper, anchovy and garlic. There is also a recipe on epicurious for horseradish cauliflower gratin that is really wonderful. And heck, I like to eat it raw with cheese on it too. The crunch of the cauliflower sort of mimics crackers.

              1. There was a featured recipe here on Chowhound last year that popped up on the home page for some time, which I tried. It was very simple and here it is.....


                1 Reply
                1. re: fourunder

                  I gave the chow recipe a try but didn't add the sugar; sub'd lemon instead and loved it
                  Very tasty. Also, a cauliflower casserole consisting of raw florets, panko breadcrumbs, grated nutmeg and olive oil drizzle baked in a 350 oven is also heavenly.

                2. I like steaming the head and making various dipping sauces for it. Particularly after the decadent holiday feasts.

                  1. Yup. Good stuff. Try it with a nice brown mustard.

                    1. I love it too. Recently, I cut it up, roasted it, and separately made a sauce by toasting pine nuts in olive oil with some garlic, added a bit of cream and grated parmesan - tossed it all together

                      SO so so so delicious

                      we then mixed it with penne and sauteed tuscan kale - an amazing vegetarian meal

                      1. Roasted is PERFECT, Me ... thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper

                        Toss with olive oil then dried bread crumbs mixed with parm ... also great

                        Gratain is amazing, I mix with fennel and broccoli, all cut small layer with croutons, yes crunched up croutons and parmesan cheese, top with more croutons and cheese and then Add 2 cups of heavy cream and cook.

                        Roasted and then drizzled with a mix a garlic and grated shallot.

                        Also did honey, balsamic and rosemary which was good pan seared after roasting.

                        Deep fried is great but I don't really fry to much, but have had it and it is great They did a light batter and it was wonderful. They had a spicy chipolte dip.

                        I also make a cheddar gratain which I love with just cauli.

                        Dice up cauli and broccoli and cucumber, some scallions, mayo, seasoning and serve cold. Great side salad. I do blanch the cauli and broccoli first.

                        Marinaded, Take some cauli, peppers, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes and marinade in a good fresh made viniagrette and let set 2 days and serve. Olives and onions also good. I do blanch the larger vegetables first. This is a great simple marinade for a antipasta platter or a side for some roasted chicken.

                        THE BEST ... mashed mixed with some rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper and cauli. It is like mashed potatoes but soooo much better.

                        1. I'm addicted to pickled cauliflower. It's the first thing I pick out of my jar of giardiniera. Should probably make it myself!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: dinner belle

                            Another good way, sort of like my marinaded version but I agree. Love that. I have pickled before and it isn't hard. I just don't eat it too often but would make great Christmas present some fresh pickled veggies in a basket with some olives etc. OK, I'm way off track!!

                            Sorry, yes, love the pickel too, And not hard.

                            1. re: dinner belle

                              what do you eat the pickled cauliflower with? I'm pickling some right now, but I'm not sure what to do with it when it's done!

                            2. Try brushing it with Walnut Oil instead of olive oil. A little salt and pepper and then roast at 400 for 20 minutes. Incredible.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Shane Greenwood

                                We love cauliflower. Roasted is the best, although a cauliflower fritatta is very close. Something that I have heard from the low-carb dieters is a mashed cauliflower like mashed potatoes. Haven't tried it, but I am sure that I would like it. Then, again, everything goes better with cheese. Steam a head whole with your choice of seasonings, when nearly finished, top with your choice of cheese and let it steam some more until the cheese melts down into the little crevices.

                                1. re: powillie

                                  Definitely try it with walnut oil. It's a great combo.

                              2. Try breaking up the florets and steaming them. Put in a food processor with just a spoon of the steaming liquid and some butter. Processs till smooth and add salt, pepper, and a spritz of truffle oil if you have it. Delicious!

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: DaisyM

                                  Is this the mashed potatoe fake out made famous by South Beach Diet? I have never tried it but friends following the program talked about creamed cauliflower for weeks.

                                  1. re: HillJ

                                    I got the recipe online from Ted Allen under cauliflower puree. It is just a very easy and satisfying dish. Sometimes I serve it under chicken or fish and it ALMOST tastes like mashed potatoes. And boy a spritz of truffle oil really adds another dimension.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      Pretty much, but South Beach Diet certainly didn't include truffle oil!

                                      1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                                        good point! Truffle oil.

                                        Just this evening we had roasted cauliflower with red peppers, chicken sausage, and sage leaves.

                                    2. re: DaisyM

                                      Mashed cauli was on my post too above. I love it. Add some seasoning, chicken broth a little cream and presto. Mashed potatoes!!

                                      1. re: DaisyM

                                        I've got to try this. Sounds amazing.

                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                          I make it all the time, you can use broth, just the cooking liquid, cream, butter, just herbs or any cheese. All work and makes a great side. One of my catering dishes makes grilled lamb chops with a walnut pesto topped over my mashed cauliflower and then topped with fried thin red and golden beets and topped with a light creamed goat cheese sauce

                                        2. re: DaisyM

                                          I do the same, sort of a cauliflower mash. I carmelize onions in a curry spice and add it to the mash. Worth a try. I suppose any spices would do - depending on mood and what you're serving it with.

                                        3. Someone here passed this recipe link along. I've been making it with less olive oil and red wine vinegar than in the original, but it's incredible even lower fat. I think the key is roasting and grinding the spices, makes all the difference in flavor that really wows. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                            1. Cauliflower was once on my "will not eat" list until I began to mash it and roast it. It is now one of my favorite vegetables.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: wineos

                                                I love cauliflower. Steamed, fried, au gratin, etc. But the best dish I've ever had with cauliflower in it is a Middle Eastern dish whose name translates into "Upside down). Here's a rough recipe:

                                                1. You boil a chicken or pieces of a chicken and remove it.
                                                2. Cook a large quantity of long-grain rice in the water you used to boil the chicken.
                                                3. In a skillet, fry pieces of eggplant, potato, and cauliflower in peanut oil. Everything should be light-medium brown. Salt and pepper to taste.
                                                4. Dump the rice, chicken pieces, and veggies onto a platter. (Optional: put the "upside down" dish in a 350-375 degrees for 15-20 minutes).

                                                Serve with yogurt. Again: this is a rough recipe, but I guarantee that if you like cauliflower (and eggplant too!), you'll love this dish.

                                                1. re: Gigi007

                                                  That is called Maklouba. It's an arabic dish I grew up with. We never added the potato or the eggplant. It was always tons of sliced onions, garlic, 4-6 heads of fried cauliflower and lamb(usually the neck on bone) that was seared. Chicken can be used, but we brown it for more flavor and it was usually boneless chicken thighs. There is the arabic 7 spice that is used, but, every household has their different variation. I love this dish.

                                              2. I love cauliflower any way but especially enjoy cauliflower soup that is pureed.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: cassoulady

                                                  The best, roasted with onions, then mixed with some broth cream, sherry wine, fresh herbs a few extra vegetables and what an amazing soup. I top mine with roasted diced tomatoes and croutons.

                                                  1. re: kchurchill5

                                                    I forgot to mention this in my earlier post. My wife will saute florets in olive oil, salt and freshly cracked black pepper until carmelized, then she will add a small amount of water, cover, and steam until tender. Quite tasty. Works with broccoli too.

                                                2. If you look at the NY Times website under the Health section and find the Recipes for Health, they did a whole cauliflower series recently, including a pasta dish with roasted cauliflower, tomatoes and olives. It was basically roasted florets in a quick tomato sauce (canned tomatoes) with kalamata olives, and it was DELICIOUS.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: dubedo

                                                    I make a whole wheat pasta with roasted tomatoes onions, muchrooms and cauliflower. I make a simple light cheese sauce with a good gruyere or and parm and lightly toss. I have also done it with a balsamic vinaigrette. Both ways. Equally as good.

                                                    1. re: dubedo

                                                      i was all about those NY Times recipes when i spotted them...


                                                      they've been doing a lot of series in that section lately that seem to coincide with popular CH Home Cooking board discussions. two other recently highlighted ingredients were lentils and quinoa.

                                                    2. I like it 2 different ways.
                                                      1. Since I have developed an allergy to shrimp, I usually cut up some raw cauliflower and dip it in a coctail sauce (ketchup and horseradish style) and make believe I am eating steamed shrimp.
                                                      2. My second favorite way I learned from a chef while I was traveling overseas. His name for it was puffed cauliflower and it is basically a souflee'd casserole type of dish. You make a white sauce with 2 egg yolks added in and about a cup of grated cheddar. One head of cauliflower broken into flourets and steamed til crisp tender , another cup of cheese, 1/2 cup of fresh bread crumbs, and the two egg whites beaten stiff. Mix all and fold in egg whites, pour into a casserole that has been greased and additional bread crumbs added to the dish. Sprinkle some additional crumbs on top and bake @ 350 for 45 minutes.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: RJJR

                                                        RJJR, this sounds almost exactly like your Puffed Cauliflower recipe but with different baking temp & time...


                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          Yes GHG you are correct. I only had my handwritten version, but that is almost exact. I would advise any cauliflower lovers out there to try this it is wonderful. I have had very many people say they do not like cauliflower but do like this very much.

                                                          1. re: RJJR

                                                            I have heard that recipe, never tried it though. I can eat cauli right out of garden. I love it.

                                                            Asian stir fry with broccoli, thin carrot strips and water chesnuts. A light soy, honey and garlic based sauce ... I can't eat enough of that. I usually make it when I don't have enough of each. A little of this and a Little of that ...

                                                      2. A family favorite, especially at Thanksgiving, was creamed cauliflower. Just steam the florets, make a cream sauce with a little nutmeg added in and combine the vegetables with the sauce. Delicious.

                                                        1. I have a great recipe for a whole head of c. with a mustardy cream sauce. Let me know if you want me to dig it up.

                                                          1. I usually do this with brocolli (it's sweeter) but it would work with cauliflower too.
                                                            Grind a couple of cloves of garlic with a teaspoon corriander seeds in a mortar and pestle, then add enough olive oil to the mix to let you coat your florets. Then roast till it starts to brown.

                                                            Another twist on cauliflower is British picalilli. It is more yellow (turmeric and mustard) then the American version and is more chunk cauliflower and baby onions (as opposed to gherkins like the American style).

                                                            Finally...try roasting it with curry powder like Dan G says, then zap it with a blender and add a bit of stock for a cracking soup.

                                                            1. I posted this a few months ago on another thread:

                                                              CAULIFLOWER SAUCE WITH GARLIC, OIL AND CHILI PEPPER
                                                              Serves 4 to 6

                                                              1 head cauliflower, about 1 1/2 pounds
                                                              1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
                                                              2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
                                                              6 flat anchovy fillets, chopped very fine
                                                              Chopped hot red chili pepper, to taste
                                                              2 tablespoons chopped parsley
                                                              1 to 1 1/2 pounds pasta

                                                              Recommended pasta: Penne, the quill-shaped macaroni, either in the smooth or ridged version, would be the most appealing choice.

                                                              1. Strip the cauliflower of all its leaves except for a few of the very tender inner ones. Rinse it in cold water and cut it in two.

                                                              2. Bring 4 to 5 quarts of water to boil, put in the cauliflower, and cook it until it is tender, but not mushy about 25 to 30 minutes. Prod it with a fork to test for doneness. When cooked, drain and set aside.

                                                              3. Put water in a saucepan, and bring it to a lively simmer.

                                                              4. Put the oil and garlic in a medium sauté pan, turn on the heat to medium, and cook until the garlic becomes colored a light, golden brown. Remove the pan from the burner, place it over the saucepan of simmering water, and add to it the chopped anchovies. Cook, stirring and mashing the anchovies with the back of a wooden spoon against the sides of the pan to dissolve them as much as possible into a paste. Return the sauté pan to the burner over medium heat and cook for another half minute, stirring frequently.

                                                              5. Add the drained, boiled cauliflower, breaking it up quikly with a fork into pieces not bigger than a small nut. Turn it thoroughly in the oil to coat it well, mashing some of it to a pulp with the back of the spoon.

                                                              6. Add the chopped chili pepper and salt. Turn up the heat, and cook for a few minutes more, stirring frequently.

                                                              Ahead-of-time note : You can prepare the sauce several hours in advance up to this point. Do not refrigerate it. Reheat it gently when the pasta is nearly ready to be drained and tossed.

                                                              7. Toss with cooked drained

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: FoodChic

                                                                Dear FoodChic,

                                                                Could this be combined with ground beef at some point to provide more protein?

                                                                Just Wondering,


                                                                1. re: Joebob

                                                                  Absolutely! Add a little Italian turkey sausage.

                                                              2. Try roasting it with ZAATAR spice, onions and olive oil - wonderful!

                                                                1. I did cauliflower steaks with the same sort of ingredients, it's a little corny, but actually works.

                                                                  1. take a whole cauliflower, buy them with as tight and healthy florets as possible.
                                                                  2. trim off the green leaves and trim off a bit on the bottom edge, then sit the cauliflower vertically and take big slices, about 1" thick or more. You'll end up with thick cross sections that look like trees with a "trunk". With an average cauliflower, you should be able to get 4 good slices in the middle (the edges tend to crumble, but those roast as well).
                                                                  3. layout carefully on a greased pan, then drizzle w/ salt pepper, olive oil, etc.
                                                                  4. after 20-25 minutes you can flip them over for another 10-15; cauliflower is very hardy and tough to burn (very low sugar content).


                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: bigjeff

                                                                    I'm chiming in with those who like roasting cauliflower. So simple and so tasty. Olive oil, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Yum!

                                                                    1. Try tossing the cauliflower in olive oil, salt & pepper, cumin, and finely chopped garlic, then roast until crisp (finish under the grill to get some really nice crunch on it). I always eat this scooped up with pieces of arabic pita (the bread must be fresh and soft) and dipped into a lemony tahini sauce. I usually squeeze some lemon juice over the cauliflower as well, but I like more lemon than most people!... a sprinkle of flat parsley over either the cauliflower or tahini is nice too.

                                                                      1. I recently discovered Cauliflower Steaks and I just loved them. Mind you, I am not a vegetarian and it is a struggle to get my husband to eat meatless if there isn't a pasta involved. The recipe I used was from Epicurious and I made some slight tweaks. I have pasted it below and you can see how it turned out on Neurotic Kitchen - just google it and search for the post - "Good Deeds Grow in Brooklyn" Sept 2012 - HERE YOU GO:
                                                                        Cauliflower Steak with Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Relish
                                                                        Lightly Adapted From Bon Appetit
                                                                        Serves 4
                                                                        1 large head of Cauliflower
                                                                        1/2 cup pitted Oil-Cured Black Olives, finely chopped
                                                                        5 Sun-Dried Tomatoes, thinly sliced
                                                                        3 1/2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided, plus more
                                                                        2 Tablespoons Chopped Flat-Leaf Italian Parsley
                                                                        1 teaspoon fresh Lemon Juice
                                                                        Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
                                                                        3 whole Garlic Cloves
                                                                        2 Roma or 3 Plum Tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters

                                                                        Remove leaves and trim stem end of Cauliflower, leaving the core intact. Stand cauliflower core side down on a cutting board. Using a long, sturdy knife, slice Cauliflower into four 1/2 inch "steaks" from center of Cauliflower working outwards (some florets will break loose - reserve them).

                                                                        Finely chop enough loose florets to measure about a 1/2 cup. Transfer chopped florets to a small bowl and mix with the Olives, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, 1 Tablespoon of oil, the Parsley and Lemon Juice. Season relish Pepper and add a bit of Salt if needed.
                                                                        Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Relish, Photo: NK
                                                                        Preheat oven to 400.
                                                                        Heat 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil in a large heavy ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.

                                                                        Working in 2 batches, cook Cauliflower steaks until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side, adding a tablespoon of oil to pan between batches if needed.

                                                                        Transfer steaks to a large rimmed baking sheet. Reserve skillet.

                                                                        In the oven, Roast cauliflower until tender, about 15-17 minutes.

                                                                        Meanwhile, return skillet to medium-high heat and add Garlic Cloves and Tomato wedges, cut side down.

                                                                        For the Simple Tomato Sauce Base, Photo: NK

                                                                        Cook until Tomatoes are browned - just a few minutes. Turn Tomatoes over so they are cut side up and transfer the entire skillet to the oven either alongside the Cauliflower pan or on a different rack if need be. Roast the Garlic and Tomato skillet in the oven until both are tender, about 12 minutes.

                                                                        Transfer Garlic, Tomatoes, and 1/2 Tablespoon Oil to a blender and purée until smooth. Season the sauce with Salt and Pepper to taste.

                                                                        To Serve: Divide Tomato Sauce among plates. Place 1 Cauliflower steak on each plate and spoon the relish over. Serve warm. Enjoy!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Samurai Sam

                                                                          I've made this recipe several times and I love it. Such a light but satisfying meal. Thanks for reminding me!

                                                                        2. I love roasted cauliflower and lately have been doing it whole. Core the cauliflower and put, cored side down, in a baking dish that I sprayed lightly with vegetable spray. Drizzle olive oil & salt over it a bake at 425 for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. When done drizzle lemon juice, capers and parsley over top.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: ronojo

                                                                            I also cut up the head into chunks and simmer it in chicken broth till tender. Then put into food processor with a little butter, salt, pepper, garlic and just a little broth, process lump free. Very close to mashed potatoes with less guilt.

                                                                            1. re: DaisyM

                                                                              The South Beat Diet folks made a fortune with the recipe for cauliflower-mashed potatoes..without the guilt.

                                                                          2. Ginger-Carrot-Cauliflower Soup. Mmmmm...

                                                                            1. Try maglouba (sp?) -- a kind of biryani rice with fried cauliflower and either chicken or lamb dish. Just be sure you are not thinking of dieting while feasting this scrumptuous meal....

                                                                              1. It's Makloubeh. I've Mentioned that Above. It's a Dish I grew up on.

                                                                                1. After reading a recent cauliflower and curry thread I thought I'd bump this thread up.

                                                                                  Has anyone tried Daphne Oz's Roasted Cauliflower Grilled Cheese?


                                                                                  It looks really good . . .

                                                                                  1. Adding to this old thread- made this gorgeous whole roasted cauliflower this weekend, will be a new addition to thanksgiving this year!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                                                      That sounds delicious. I love goat cheese. Thanks for the link!

                                                                                      Saturday I enjoyed a pizza in NY that consisted of white and purple cauliflower heads, thinly sliced lemon and cracked black pepper over a bed of very light cheese sauce. Thin crust. Super tasty.

                                                                                    2. I like to boil the florets, then fry up some Progresso Italian Style breadcrumbs (in butter) to put on top, along with more butter :)