I first became aware of cauliflower’s transformation to hotness when my friend Lynne, who has worked in the food industry for many years, told me that she finally found a non-meat item her husband would eat for dinner—Roasted Cauliflower. She sent me her recipe, and sure enough, it not only looked good but it also tasted good.
Then last month I went to event featuring a restaurant owner, a TV food presenter and an executive who feeds thousands of people a day at a sports center. When asked what food was cutting edge today, all of them said, “Cauliflower.”
In a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, nearly a whole page was devoted to a recipe from Sarah Michelle Gellar (better known as Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Guess the name of the recipe: Cauliflower Popcorn.
And just yesterday I saw a new version of cauliflower in the fresh produce department—a bag of cauliflower so finely chopped that it looked like puffy rice. Just the thing if you want to make a Cauliflower Crust Pizza or Cauliflower Fritters.
I guess I’m old-fashioned because I still like Cauliflower in Cheese Sauce—my first introduction to this vegetable. Eventually I moved on to Cauliflower with Potatoes from Madhur Jaffrey’s “Indian Cookery.”
|Pasta with Indian Cauliflower Sauce|
Now I’ve discovered an even spicier dish called Benarasi Cauliflower from “The Good Cook: Vegetables”, an old Time-Life cookbook series. This is my go-to cauliflower recipe at the moment.
Benarasi Cauliflower – serves 4-6 (adapted from “The Good Cook: Vegetables”)
1 small cauliflower, divided into bite-size florets
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil + more if needed
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cardamom pods, seeds only
3 plum tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
Begin heating 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the cauliflower florets and stir-fry until the florets start to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the florets to a large bowl or plate.
Puree the onion, coriander, cumin, turmeric, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, cardamom seeds and chopped tomatoes in a blender. Pour the blended liquid into the frying pan or wok and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken.
Add the cauliflower florets and stir gently until they are covered with sauce. Cover with a lid and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the florets can be pierced with a fork. Serve immediately or reheat when needed. This dish is also good cold.For more recipes, order "Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen!"