It’s Cauliflower season here and great heads of the vegetable are stacked high in our supermarkets and on our On-street vegetable stands. If you remember Cauliflower as a somewhat tasteless vegetable, you’re likely familiar with the boiled preparation of the dish. This is truly a darned shame. Boiling reduces the levels of every good thing in Cauliflower and there are a lot of them. Cauliflower is full of vitamins C, B and K but it’s low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. The longer the cauliflower is boiled the fewer cauliflower compounds remain. Fortunately, today’s recipes call for roasting and stove-top grilling. The first is a recipe from Alex Guarneschelli of Food Network fame. Here, cauliflower is sliced clear through into ½ slabs and sautéed. But the real star is the salsa verde. With its fresh herbs, capers and cornichons, it gives the Cauliflower Steaks a whallop of flavor. This is another very quick dish to prepare. It comes together in under 30 minutes. The second recipe for Indian Spiced Cauliflower is even simpler. Here the cauliflower is broken down into florets and roasted in the oven with a variety of Indian spices. But my friend Kristi, who shared it with me, was very excited about one of particular ingredient…
“I have long heard from my acupuncturist and other holistic practioners the health benefits of turmeric….but on the news last night- they now have scientific evidence- that the ingredient in turmeric significantly reduces cancer.” Kristi wrote. “ Researchers noted that people in India have 5-10 times less breast cancer, colon cancer, etc….and that is what prompted the study into a number of spices- the outcome was curcumin- the ingredient in turmeric- was the answer.” Good to know! So now you can build all these health benefits into a main course or side dish that will make Cauliflower a new family favorite. Here are the recipes:
Recipe for Alex Guarnaschelli’s Cauliflower Steaks with Herb Salsa Verde from Food and Wine Magazine
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
1 1/2 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped
6 cornichons, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large head of cauliflower
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1. In a large bowl, whisk the parsley with the cilantro, tarragon, capers, cornichons, garlic, mustards and olive oil.
2. Cut the cauliflower from top to bottom into four 1/2-inch-thick steaks. Generously season them with salt and pepper.
3. In a very large skillet, heat the canola oil until very hot. Add the cauliflower in a single layer and cook over high heat until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn the steaks, add the wine and cook until it is evaporated and the cauliflower is easily pierced with a knife, 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Transfer the cauliflower to a platter and sprinkle with the lemon zest. Stir the lemon juice and vinegar into the salsa verde and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce on the cauliflower and serve.
Recipe for Kristi’s Indian Spiced Cauliflower
Both Kristi and I took liberties with this recipe. I keep quite a pantry of Indian spices as I love Indian food so I added ½ tsp. of Garam Masala, and a teaspoon each cumin and coriander. Kristi subtracted spices she’s not fond of. I also added gobs of butter to the roasted cauliflower just before serving. The recipe below is hers. By all means, have fun with it yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
1 large head cauliflower
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
sea salt- a few shakes
pinch of cayenne
1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse your cauliflower. Separate the florets.
2. In a large ovenproof saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When it is hot, add all the cauliflower, and stir occasionally for 5 minutes.
3. Toss with spices. Roast in oven for 25 – 30 mins at 425 degrees.
4. Optional: You can also mash the roasted cauliflower in a little brummel and brown yogurt butter- it is FABULOUS!!!!!