.title-desc-wrapper .dt-published.published.post-date { display: none; }

cauliflower

Cauliflower "Cake"

TIME: 1 HOUR, 15 MINS; SERVES: 6 - 8
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s, Plenty More

After making cauliflower purée from half of a large cauliflower head, I was searching for a dish to use the remaining half. Flipping through Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty More, I found his recipe for Cauliflower Cake. Substituting almond flour for all-purpose makes it low-carb & gluten-free, and the addition of different spices and herbs produces a really lovely, vegetarian entrée.

I expected a very dense cake from the almond flour, but the quantity of eggs and baking powder produced a light, yet satisfying crumb—delicious paired with an arugula salad & simple vinaigrette. This cake is arguably better the following day, which makes it perfect for a quick lunch on the go.

INGREDIENTS

1 small cauliflower head, or half of a larger head, broken into florets
3 tbls. butter or ghee
2 large shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/8 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
7 large eggs
1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup aged, sharp cheddar or Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbls. capers, chopped
2 tbls. sesame seeds
1 tbls. nigella seeds
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Bring a saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.

  3. Slice 4 rounds from the center of the shallots, and chop the rest. Add the butter to a heavy-bottom pan and heat over medium-low heat until frothy. Add the chopped shallots, garlic, fennel & mustard seeds, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook until browned & fragrant, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool.

  4. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the parsley, almond flour, baking powder, cheese, shallot mixture, turmeric, ~1 tsp. salt, and lots of fresh ground pepper. Mix until smooth before gently folding in the cauliflower florets.

  5. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with butter. Trace the pan on parchment paper, and cut a circle to line the bottom. Mix the sesame & nigella seeds together, and sift them around the bottom and sides of the pan to coat.

  6. Pour in the cauliflower mixture and arrange the shallot slices on top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  7. Remove and let cool for 15 - 20 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges to loosen. To remove from the pan, flip onto a plate, discard the parchment paper, and flip back over onto a serving platter.

fullsizeoutput_d4a.jpeg

Creamy Cauliflower Purée

TIME: 20 MINS; SERVES: 6

I’ll choose cauliflower purée over mashed potatoes any day. When boiled and puréed, cauliflower takes on a lighter, creamier texture than potatoes, and will never become a gluey mass, even when reheated. The butter and cream produces a super rich, silky texture, but this can also be made vegan with high-quality olive oil. You can boil the cauliflower in homemade stock for extra flavor.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
3 - 5 tbls. unsalted butter or ghee
1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk, plus more to thin
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Bring a medium pot of generously salted water or stock to boil.

  2. Add the cauliflower florets to the boiling water/stock and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, or until very tender.

  3. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor with the butter, and purée, adding the cream (or stock) a little at a time to achieve your desired texture.

  4. Add the salt & pepper to taste. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

fullsizeoutput_d38.jpeg

Cauliflower Steaks & Purée with Pistachio-Caper Relish

TIME: 45; MINUTES SERVES: 2 - 4
Adapted from Ottolenghi & Bon Appetit

This dish is surprisingly simple, and incredibly impressive as a vegetarian entrée or side dish—a wonderful option if you are wanting to whip up a fancy, plant-based dinner. The caramelized cauliflower steaks are beautiful plated over the purée, and the relish is the perfect mix of salt, fat, acid & crunch.

Yotam Ottolenghi knows how to transform the humble cauliflower into a centerpiece. His original recipe calls for anchovies and egg yolk in the purée, and walnuts in place of pistachios. As always, feel free to adjust to your liking.

INGREDIENTS

Relish
1/3 cup raw pistachios, shelled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbls. capers, drained
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 hot pepper, seeded and minced
3 tbls. parsley, chopped
1 tbls. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, grated
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 medium head cauliflower
1 clove garlic, grated
1 - 2 tbls. lemon juice
2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, plus 1 tbls. for frying
2+ tbls. water or cream
1 salt-packed anchovy filet, rinsed & cleaned (opt.)
3 - 4 strips lemon zest
1/2 tsp. each za’atar and nigella seeds (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Spread pistachios on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant & golden brown, 5 - 7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop & set aside. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

  3. Heat olive oil and capers in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until capers are golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Pour oil and capers into a small bowl to cool.

  4. When the caper-oil mixture is slightly cooled, mix in pistachios, chili (flakes or fresh), parsley, vinegar, shallot, garlic, and lemon zest. Season with salt and black pepper. Set relish aside. *This can be made a few hours, or up to a day in advance.

  5. For the cauliflower: Remove the tough outer leaves from cauliflower, leaving any tender inner leaves. Trim stem to create a flat base (careful not to over-trim—you’ll need a base to hold the steaks together), and rinse if dirty. Cut cauliflower in half from top to bottom, creating two lobes. From the cut-edge of each lobe, slice a 1-inch “steak” (the stem should hold the florets together), resulting in 2 similar-sized steaks. Very coarsely chop remaining florets & leaves.

  6. Boil enough salted water to cover the florets in a large saucepan, and cook until very tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and purée in a food processor with garlic, lemon juice, 2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, water or cream (to thin), and optional anchovy until very smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a couple times. Season with salt and more lemon if necessary, and set aside.

  7. Heat 1 tbls. butter/ghee in a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower steaks and lemon zest (tucking the strips into the lobes to avoid burning). Cook until steaks are deep golden brown. Flip over and season with salt.

  8. Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until cauliflower stems are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove cauliflower and sprinkle with optional nigella seed & za’atar. If the steaks are not softened at this point, add a couple tbls. water and return pan to oven for another 5 - 7 minutes.

  9. To serve, spoon cauliflower purée onto a platter and arrange steaks on top. Spoon relish over and sprinkle with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

Coconut-Cauliflower Soup with Ginger-Scallion Relish

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 6
Adapted from NYT Cooking

The ginger-scallion relish is the shining star in this recipe. This dairy-free, creamy cauliflower soup is a staple in my kitchen, and can be dressed up or down in a variety of ways. The combination of coconut, lime, cilantro, scallion & ginger can’t be beat, and the cauliflower provides a lighter, dairy-free base for the flavors to meld.

INGREDIENTS

3 tbls. unrefined coconut oil
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer peel removed, inner portion slit to release flavor
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely minced or gated, about 3 tbls.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can full-fat coconut milk, or 1 small can coconut cream
A few dashes fish sauce (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 - 6 scallions, trimmed, green & white parts thinly sliced
3 tbls. cilantro, chopped
2 tbls. sherry vinegar
2 limes, zest & juice
1/3 - 1/2 cup oil (neutral or olive)

METHOD

  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, lemongrass, half the ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. 

  2. Stir in the cauliflower and garlic, then add the stock. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ginger with the scallions, cilantro, vinegar, lime zest and juice, and oil. Whisk together and season with optional fish sauce and salt. Adjust seasonings and set aside.

  4. Remove the lemongrass stalk from the soup. Working in batches in a high-powered blender, purée the soup until very smooth. Add the coconut milk/cream & additional stock or water to thin if necessary. Season to taste with salt, pepper and optional fish sauce.

  5. Serve the soup topped with the ginger-scallion relish.

3E14DDEE-8D0D-4AD2-9D81-3DBC3DA3EF65.jpg
IMG_1405.jpg

Turmeric-Cauliflower with Smashed Garlic & Herbs

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 5 - 6
Adapted from Alison Roman

I make a version of this dish at least once a week when cauliflower is in season. The herbs add a fresh, grassy flavor that compliment the more pungent garlic & spices, and the cauliflower takes on a beautiful golden hue from the turmeric. Don’t fret if some of your cauliflower slices crumble apart—they become the highly sought-after crispy bits.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower
6 - 8 cloves garlic (depending on size), smashed
3 tbls. olive oil, plus more for serving
1 tsp. each fennel & cumin seed
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground turmeric
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mixed herbs: parsley, cilantro, dill, mint; roughly chopped
1 - 2 oz. feta cheese (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.

  2. Slice cauliflower from top to bottom into 1/2 inch thick slices, including the core and inner leaves.

  3. Place cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with fennel & cumin seed, turmeric and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Roast until cauliflower has turned a deep golden brown and is slightly crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. Flip the larger “steaks”, stir the smaller bits around and continue to roast until completely browned, another 8 - 10 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and top with herbs, optional feta, and a drizzle of olive oil.

v%qrOL4YSD+WqvWyzwZ2rQ.jpg


Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds, Lemon & Parsley

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 5 - 6, as a side dish
Adapted from NYT Cooking

Peeking through the leaves of a cauliflower plant in October and finding its white, creamy center is one of the best Fall surprises a grower can experience. Toasted nuts, lemon & herbs haven’t failed me yet, and they surely do justice to a beautiful head of long-awaited cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower, florets & tender inner leaves chopped
3 tbls. olive oil
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A pinch crushed red pepper flakes (opt.)
1/2 cup almonds
2 tbls. Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice & zest, plus more to taste
2 tbls. capers or chopped green olives (opt.)
1 - 2 oz. feta (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower & leaves with olive oil, salt, pepper & optional crushed red pepper flakes. Spread evenly onto a large baking sheet and roast until crisp and golden, about 25 minutes (the really crispy bits are the best), stirring & rotating the pan halfway to ensure even browning.

  2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes to avoid burning. Remove from heat, roughly chop, and set aside.

  3. Once the cauliflower is roasted, toss it in a large, shallow bowl with half the almonds and 1 tbls. parsley. Mix in capers/olives and feta if using. Top with remaining almonds, parsley, lemon juice & zest, and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt to taste.

IMG_2033.jpg
IMG_2037.jpg