HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Oct 20, 2011 08:07 PM

I've never eaten cauliflower before...

Seriously. I'm nearly 26 and have never consumed cauliflower in my life. When I was younger because I assumed I wouldn't like it, and later, out of habit. I LOVE roasted broccoli and generally enjoy vegetables. I'm intrigued by the idea of eating it and it's on sale at my local grocery store this week. What recipes should I be considering. I don't even know what it tastes like. How weird.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Three ways that will make you love cauliflower. 1. Steam it and then once tender add it to whatever mac and cheese recipe you love. 2. Cut into chunks and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper; roast in oven until brown and tender, then eat. 3. Steam until tender, combine with cooked potatoes and make mashed potatoes and cauliflower with cream, butter etc. Cauliflower is fairly bland so it combines well with other things such as what I have suggested.

    24 Replies
    1. re: escondido123

      Thanks! I've been considering making either mac and cheese or scalloped potatoes in the next several days, so maybe I'll make them "healthy" by including cauliflower. Anything containing vegetables is healthy, right?

      1. re: LaureltQ

        Well, it's more healthy than without vegetables and the flavor of the cauliflower is pretty mild. I have to say I've never liked it raw where it takes a lot of dips to hide it.

      2. re: escondido123

        You can also roast it as in #2 above, only sliced into "steaks" - a cross section the long way.

        1. re: calliope_nh

          Or after #1 you can frost it with a mayo mustard mix and bake whole - this is how I got hubby to eat it. Parmesan on top is even better!

        2. re: escondido123

          You can also steam it and mash it without the potatoes. It makes a wonderful potato-substitute all on its own. Nice if you're avoiding carbs -- or calories.

          1. re: chicgail

            if you grate it instead of mash it, it can also be used as a pretty solid substitute for rice. have actually fooled people with it before!

            1. re: mattstolz

              a.k.a. cauliflower "couscous" or "risotto":

              oh, and my #1 vote for learning to love cauliflower is roasted, either in chunks or as "steaks" as several others have mentioned.

              my #2 is roasted with tahini, smoked paprika & cumin.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                That sounds deelish! how is the tahini used? Is the cauliflower tossed in tahini et al and then roasted?

                1. re: magiesmom

                  totally a matter of preference. i like to sauce it, roast it, and serve with extra sauce for dipping/drizzling...or you can just season with oil, cumin, S&P, roast, and then toss/dip in sauce after.

                  this might help:
                  just a note - i didn't mention in that link that i like to add a pinch of cayenne for some heat.

                  some of my other favorite ways to season cauliflower:
                  - sesame oil, lemon & tamari or soy...garnish with toasted sesame seeds
                  - balsamic & marjoram...add freshly grated Parm for the last few minutes
                  - garlic, chili pepper, lemon & capers...garnish with sliced toasted almonds
                  - garam masala, harissa & lime
                  - sriracha-spiked miso tamari sauce

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    I am running to the farm stand for cauliflower. I never thought of the tahini sauce ( must have missed the other thread) and it sounds wonderful. Especially with cayenne. Thank you yet again ghg.

                    1. re: magiesmom

                      Love the idea of dipping in Tahini sauce. Here's my favourite recipe . . . its from Epi:


                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      always happy to share :) hope everyone enjoys!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I just love the garlic, chili pepper, lemon, caper and almonds idea!!!

                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          i usually finish that one off with a little fresh Italian parsley.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Thanks for sharing ghg, that #2 one is on my menu tonight ~

              2. re: escondido123

                Escondido's #2 suggestion is outstanding. It really tastes like cauliflower candy when you roast it that way. My daughter and I ate an entire head of cauliflower EACH when I made this a few weeks ago. Seriously, that was dinner.

                Another simple prep is to cut into florets and steam it, then melt some butter, saute a bunch of scallions and toss with the cauliflower.

                1. re: Isolda

                  I second that! It's wonderful roasted. Great in curry, too: the Indian dish aloo gobi is potatoes and cauliflower in a savory sauce. YUM. Good battered and fried.

                  I don't get to eat the core--my dog begs for it and I'm a sucker for him.

                  1. re: rccola

                    thats like giving your dog the fish cheek, shrimp head, beef marrow, chicken oyster, or that last bite of a resees that has all the peanut butter in it.

                    1. re: mattstolz

                      But to some people, their dogs are like their children. Wouldn't you give your child the middle of the Reese's?

                      1. re: Isolda

                        if i had children, i would use them to eat the rest of the reese's so that i could specifically have the middle bite.

                        some things just arent meant to be shared.

                        1. re: mattstolz

                          hey matt, you do know you can just buy a jar of Reese's PB, right?

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            meh. i am pretty committed to my Skippy natural.

                            besides, the chocolate is still important.... its just not my favorite part of the candy haha

                      2. re: mattstolz

                        Isolda must know me. Or my dog. I try to ignore the begging but, well, only my husband screaming, "GODDAMMIT DON'T FEED HIM AT THE TABLE" stops me.

                        On the other hand, my child doesn't beg with the same skill as the dog.

                2. I like it many ways but suggest you start raw. Dip florets in dip or salad dressing, or slice it thinly (a mandoline helps) and marinate it in your favorite vinaigrette. The core is completely edible and is, IMO, the sweetest part. You might also enjoy broccoflower, which is a lovely shade of chartreuse. Cailiflower also comes in golden yellow and in magenta purple. A bunch of raw florets in all these colors is glorious on a Thanksgiving relish tray.

                  If you get tired of eating that first whole head of white cauliflower, add either cooked or raw to chicken stock, along with some onions that have been gently sauteed in butter, with curry powder or garam masala bloomed in the butter at the last moment, simmer for a bit, then puree and if desired, stir in some cream. Voila - cream of cauliflower soup. Some people mash cooked cauliflower as a stand-in for mashed potatoes but IMO mashed cooked butter (large lima) beans is a much better potato substitute.

                  1. tastes alot like vegtable brain...great in curries.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hetook

                      "vegetable brain"?! I thought we were trying to help her like it.

                      Try aloo gobi and ginger-carrot-cauliflower soup. Both great.

                      1. re: Joebob

                        I'm kidding. come on...hw bout cauliflower with cheese sauce. yum.

                    2. Use the florets in a stir-fry with some baby corn and peas.

                      Roast and eat with dijon mustard

                      Puree and eat with gravy

                      1. Roast and sprinkle with cumin