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How to store fresh cauliflower: keep in the fridge in a plastic bag. Try eating truly fresh cauliflower within 2 days to enjoy a sweet treat... not at all mustardy! OR if your cauliflower is lingering in your fridge and/or from the supermarket (likely weeks old if from the supermarket), try a recipe with bold flavors to mask the mustardy/cabbagy taste.
Photos above left to right: purple cauliflower, 'broccoli' romanesco, cook like any cauliflower, cheddar cauliflower: so named only for the color! all photos by Andy Griffin

If your cauliflower is fresh, eat the greens too! Photo essay on cauliflower greens preparation

History of Cauliflower from Alan Davidson in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food It's a variety of cabbage in which the flowers have begun to form but have stopped growing at the bud stage. It is generally believed that it was the Arabs who introduced the cauliflower to Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Cauliflower and Aphid Note: if you get cauliflower from your garden or your farmer with some aphids hiding: don't despair! Just soak for about an hour (or less) in some cool water with a bit of vinegar and salt in the water. Rinse well, and cook!

Cauliflower Compote from Chef Jonathan Miller

2 heads cauliflower (any variety, including romanesco), cut into small florets
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
olive oil
12 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
3-4 wide strips lemon peel, minced
¼ c pine nuts
⅓-½ c dried tomatoes
¼ c chopped parsley

In a large skillet that can be covered, heat a quarter cup of olive oil, then add the cauliflower and the shallot. Saute briskly with some salt for about 2-3 minutes, then lower the heat and cover the skillet. Sweat for about 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Raise the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Saute just until everything is heated through and dish smells very fragrant. Finish with some pepper and serve warm.

Cauliflower "Steak" from Chef Jonathan Miller
A friend gave me this interesting idea: She cut the cauliflower into thick steaks, seared them, and topped them with a lively compote. I'm sharing my friend, Young's, creation with you as best as I can figure it out. It's very straightforward, and tasty with the olives and dry tomatoes.

olive oil
1 small can of preserved tomatoes, about half a pound worth (a can from the store or home canned - either works), chopped
1/2 an onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 T dry oregano
1/2 T tomato paste
1 head yellow cauliflower
1 shallot, chopped
6 dry tomatoes, cut with scissors into thin slices
8-10 green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
zest from half a lemon
3 T parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and add the onion. Saute until softened, about 6 minutes, then add the oregano and garlic. Saute another minute, then add the chopped tomatoes, all the juice that comes out of them, the tomato paste, and a little salt.

Bring to a simmer, then cook very low for about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary, then finish with a little chopped parsley.

While the tomato sauce cooks, remove the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the stalk so that it is flush with the bottom of the florets. Slice the cauliflower into whole slices through the core so they stay together. Don't try to slice too thinly, but try to get 4 slices through the core. The remaining cauliflower won't stay together, so chop that up for the compote.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet and add the chopped cauliflower, the shallot, the dry tomatoes, and the olives and saute for a couple minutes, until the shallot is tender and the tomatoes have softened. Finish with the lemon zest and 3 T parsley, some salt and pepper and taste to make sure you like it. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large skillet, heat more olive oil. Salt the cauliflower "steaks" and sear them in the hot oil until colored and softened. Flip and saute again, making sure both sides are deeply colored. Repeat with remaining steaks.

Ladle some tomato sauce on a serving plate and top with the steaks. Sprinkle the compote over the top and serve right away.

Cauliflower Soup from Chef Jonathan Miller

Cauliflower, cut into florets
2-3 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 T herb of choice (parsley or thyme are good choices)
Broth of choice (chicken stock, veggie stock, or even water), up to 1 quart, depending on size of cauliflower
1-2 c half and half or cream

Sauté the onion and carrots in oil or butter. Cook them until the onions are really soft but not brown. Add the cauliflower and the herbs and cook a few minutes. Add your broth until it comes up just below the level of your veggies and simmer until the cauliflower is cooked, around 12-15 minutes. Add some cream and blend in a blender, then check for salt and pepper.

Gus' Capellini with Cauliflower from Annamarie G

Capellini pasta
olive oil
2 Fennel bulbs with some fronds
1 onion
1 head cauliflower or romanesco
generous handful salted capers

Boil salted water.
Mandoline or thinly slice the fennel and onion and sautee in olive oil until carmelized.
When water comes to a rolling boil, add cauliflower heads.
Push carmelized onion and fennel to the side of the pan, crank the heat to high, and add another tablespoon of olive oil.
Toss rinsed capers into the pool of olive oil until the "blossom" and become almost crunchy/crackly.
Fish out cauliflower when done (to taste), and toss into the sauce pan of onions, fennel, and capers. Turn sauce pan to low or off.
Add cappellini pasta into the boiling pot now, drain when ready, add to sauce pan, toss, and eat.

Note: This is also good with garlicky breadcrumbs and AMPLE pecorino romano on top.


Simple Cauliflower Recipe from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks

Curry Cauliflower with Tribal Salt from Betelnut Pejiu Wu

Vegetable & Chickpea Curry

1 tablespoon olive or other cooking oil
1 cup chopped onion or leek
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
3 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cups cubed peeled potato
1 cup coarsely chopped sweet (bell or other) pepper
1 cup cauliflower or romanesco, cut or broken up into florets teaspoon salt teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 ounces) vegetable broth
3 cups fresh baby spinach or other cooking greens
1 cup light coconut milk
6 lemon wedges

Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot, cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry powder, brown sugar, ginger, cloves and chile. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Place onion mixture in 5-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in chickpeas, potato, sweet peppers, the cauliflower/romanesco, salt, pepper, ground red pepper, tomatoes and broth. Cover and cook on high 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add spinach and coconut milk, stir until spinach wilts. Serve with lemon wedges. Makes 6 servings.

Cauliflower Pullao from Chef Jonathan Miller

1 1/2 c basmati rice
2 3/4 c water
2 t cumin seeds
1/2 t pepper, freshly ground
peanut oil, or grapeseed oil, or ghee
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 c cauliflower florets and small stems
1/4 head cabbage, shredded
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 t garam masala

Wash the rice in 3-4 changes of water, then soak in the 2 3/4 c water for 30 minutes. Heat a tablespoon of oil or ghee in a saucepan and add the cumin and pepper. Saute for a few seconds and add the rice and its soaking water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat as low as possible, cover, and steam for 15 minutes. Leave the lid on the entire time. Remove from heat, keep covered for another 5 minutes, then allow to cool a bit.
Saute the onion in a large skillet in a couple tablespoons of oil until golden, 5-7 minutes over high heat.
Add the cauliflower, cabbage, chili flakes, some salt and pepper, and half the garam masala. Saute for a couple minutes, then cover the pan, reduce the heat and continue to cook over low heat until the cauliflower is just crisp-tender, maybe 3-5 minutes.
Add the rice and some cilantro, mixing carefully. Serve with the remaining garam masala.

This is a fancier dish than it might look. It is a silky smooth soup that has an intriguing and pleasantly sweet taste. It’s a great side dish or first course. If you really want to dress it up, peel your parsnips and deep-fry your peels. They turn out super sweet and curly, and make a great, sweet, light brown crispy topping to your soup.

Cauliflower and Ham Gratin (adapted from Bert Green's Greene on Greens)

11/2 to 2 lb cauliflower, leaves trimmed and core removed
4 T unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
1/3 lb cooked ham, diced
1 T Madeira
3 T all-purpose flour
11/2 cups hot chicken stock
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper
2/3 cup grated Jarlsberg cheese
(1 cup frozen peas, defrosted)

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Cook cauliflower in 3 qts boiling water until just tender.  Rinse under cold running water and drain well.  Cut or break the cauliflower into florets.  Set aside.
2.  Melt 1 Tablespoon of the butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook 1 minute.  Add the chopped ham and cook until lightly browned.  Sprinkle with the Madiera.  Cook, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has evaporated.  Add defrosted peas, if using.  Remove from heat and set aside.
3.  Melt the remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.  Stir in the flour.  Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes.  Whisk in the hot stock.  Cook until thick.  Add the nutmeg and seasoning to taste.
4.  Place half the cauliflower in a well-buttered 2-quart souffle dish or cassarole.  Spoon the ham mixture evenly over the top.  Spoon half the sauce over that and sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Repeat the layers of cauliflower, sauce, and cheese.  Bake in the oven until bubbly, about 20 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4 to 6 submitted by Sandy Watkins

Cauliflower & Quinoa Dish  recipe by Jonathan Miller
I made a little cauliflower and quinoa dish last week at work for my quinoa-obsessed client. I used red quinoa, but it is good with ivory as well.

1 c quinoa
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 c broccoli, cut into small pieces
large handful snow peas, sliced
1 shallot, minced
3 T lemon juice
1/2 T curry powder
olive oil
marinated artichokes

Cook your quinoa and allow to cool slightly. Steam the cauliflower, broccoli, and snow peas to the texture you like. Make a vinaigrette with the shallot, lemon juice, curry powder, a bit of cilantro, and olive oil. Fold that into the quinoa with the vegetables and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, topped with the artichokes. I also finished this with a blackened fish, but it is fine by itself.

Cauliflower and Scallions adapted from Fresh from the Farm and Garden by The Friends of the UCSC Farm and Garden

1 small head cauliflower
1-2 bunches scallions
3 tablespoons canola or safflower or other light cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 or 2 jalapeño chiles, or other spicy chile (hungarian?!) or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1/3 cup hot water

Separate cauliflower into very small florets. Wash and drain. Trim scallions and chop into 1/4 inch pieces.

Heat oil. When oil is very hot, add mustard seeds. Stir constantly for about a minute. Add turmeric, chiles, salt, and scallions, stirring rapidly. Cook for half a minute or so before adding cauliflower. Stir to mix everything well, add the water, and simmer, covered, on low for 15-20 minutes, until cauliflower is tender. Increase heat to evaporate any liquid.

Fried Rice for Breakfast, or anytime.

I try to figure out ways to eat vegetables for breakfast, this is a fairly easy one I sometimes make in the morning, or the night before and then heat up. You could substitute any number of veggies for the ones given. The amounts are also very very forgiving, even begging for substitutions.

If you've got purple cauliflower: try dressing cooked (I steam it for a few minutes then let it cool) with a vinaigrette, the purple color becomes stronger: brighter!

Julia's Simple Fried Rice serves 2-3

1 sm head cauliflower, chopped in smallish dice
1 onion or 3 green onions, chopped
2 carrots, any color, scrubbed and grated
2 tablespoons oil, divided use
1-2 cups cooked cold rice, or freshly made with a little less water to keep it firm
1 splash each of soy sauce and rice vinegar
several drops to taste of sesame and chile oil
chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, optional

Cook the cauliflower and onions in 1 T of the oil over high heat until the onion is wilted. (2-3 minutes?) Add the rice with the second T of oil, continue to cook over high heat, stirring the whole time, then add the grated carrots. Cook until everything looks cooked through and heated through, then add all the liquids, stir for another 30 seconds or so, remove from heat, add the cilantro if using, and eat. Possible additions: cashews, peanuts, chopped ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, etc. etc.

Caramelized Cauliflower from CSA member Doranne
Adapted from Jim Dixon

1 head of cauliflower, white or green
Olive oil
Fine sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the head of cauliflower on a cutting board, and slice it top-down into ¼-inch slices, some of which will crumble. Toss cauliflower in a large bowl with plenty of olive oil and a bit of salt, spread it in a single layer on a heavy sheet pan (or two, if one looks crowded), and roast until golden brown and caramelized, turning bits and slices once or twice, about 25 minutes. Devour.

Ruth Stroup's Cauliflower from our friend Ruth Stroup in Oakland

Prep 3-4 heads cauliflower by removing leaves, cutting back flowerettes, peeling remaining stalk. Chop all to bite size pieces. Saute stalk portion with plenty of butter, olive oil and garlic (at least 1 TBSP for making the roux). Add one tablespoon flour and cook about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of milk slowly to make a sauce. Add stems, steam in the sauce. Add about 2-4T parmesan or dry jack depending on how strong your cheese is. Add florets to steam. Set aside with lid closed to let flavors settle. This was so yummy and simple. Thanks to Andy for reminding us to cook the nutritions & flavorful leaves and stems.

Claudia's Cheesy Cauliflower

1. Steam a whole head of cauliflower until it is al dente.
2. Transfer to a shallow dish or broiler-safe container.
3. "Frost" the head of cauliflower with a Dijon-style mustard with herbs mixed in. (or a mustard of your choice)
4. Use the mustard as "glue to adhere your choice of grated cheese.
5. Put under broiler briefly until the cheese is bubbly.
6. Serve immediately.

Mia's Cauliflower

3/4 cup raw brown rice (about 1 1/2 cups cooked)
1/3 cup (or more) cheese
1 large bunch chard (or other leafy green) (chop stems and leaves separately)
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
soy sauce to taste

In a wok or large frying pan, saute the chard stems, onions and garlic until the onions are transparent. Stir in the cooked rice and put the chopped chard leaves on top. Cover the pan and cook over low heat until the chard leaves are wilted. Then stir the leaves into the rice mixture underneath. Add the grated cheese and soy sauce; stir until the cheese melts and holds the mixture together somewhat. Makes 4 large servings. (I think this was adapted from Recipes for a Small Planet by Ellen Buchman Ewald)

one of our favorite cauliflower preparations:

Whole Wheat Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts, and Ricotta Salata from Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters

2 heads cauliflower
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
1 pound whole wheat pasta
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes
white wine vinegar
cup toasted walnuts
4 ounces ricotta salata or feta cheese

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Cut the cauliflower into small flowerets. Peel the onion and slice it very thin. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Put the pasta on to cook. Saute the cauliflower in olive oil in a large saute pan. When the cauliflower begins to soften, season with salt and pepper and add the sliced onion and red pepper flakes. Saute over medium to high heat until the vegetables are brown and tender. The cauliflower should still be slightly crunchy and should not taste steamed. Add the garlic and remove from the heat, tossing and stirring so the garlic doesn't burn; if it starts to brown, add a splash of water. Add few drops each of vinegar and lemon juice and the toasted walnuts. Taste and correct the seasoning. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the cauliflower, adding enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat the pasta thoroughly, toss together, and serve, with the cheese crumbled over the dish.

Cauliflower with Garlic Mayo

Coarsely chop 4 to 6 firm, unblemished garlic cloves.  Put them in a mortar, add a pinch of salt, and pound until a smooth past forms, which will happen quite quickly.  If you don't have a mortar, chop the garlic and salt together until smooth.  Stir it into 1 cup of mayonnaise, add lemon juice to taste, then thin with hot water.  Serve sauce with steamed cauliflower.

Tibetan Cauliflower Curry

2 Tbsp canola oil
2 lg onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lg. head cauliflower, chopped
1 lg. carrot, cubed
3 potatoes, cubed
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 chili pepper, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups, peas
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp honey
1 cup coconut milk

Saute onions with garlic in oil until transparent. Add spices and cook gently for a few minutes. Add celery, carrots, tomatoes, and chilis, then cook for a couple minutes stirring often. Add 1 * cups of water and continue to cook until vegetables begin to get tender. Add potatoes and enough water to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Maintain a low boil until potatoes are tender, but not overcooked. Add cauliflower. When thoroughly heated, add coconut milk, honey, and chopped cilantro. Add salt to taste.

SAUTEED-BRAISED CAULIFLOWER The Victory Garden Cookbook, Marian Morash

Slice or dice cauliflower, or cut into 1/4-1/2-inch flowerets. Melt a combination of butter and oil (or either one) and toss cauliflower in it until coated. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with herbs and additional butter, if desired, and serve.

With Garlic & Oil: Add a garlic clove when tossing the cauliflower in oil.

With Tomatoes: To larger flowerets, add your favorite tomato sauce or peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes combined with fresh herbs such as basil. Cover and simmer as above until flowerets are barely tender.

In Vinegar: Saute in oil with garlic, add some red or white wine vinegar, then cover and cook until cauliflower is tender.

With Peppers: Toss the cauliflower in butter or oil with strips of red and green pepper. Cover, and cook until tender.

With Olives: Add black olives or large green olives stuffed with pimiento.

With Cream: Toss cauliflower in butter and coat with heavy cream. Cover pan and cook until cauliflower is tender. Uncover, and reduce cream so it just coats the cauliflower. Sprinkle with lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

With Nuts: Saute cauliflower in butter, cover pan, and braise until barely tender. Uncover, add toasted almonds, walnuts, or pistachio nuts, saute over high heat for 1 minute.

With Capers or Anchovies: After sauteing in butter or oil, toss in capers or anchovies and cook for 1 minute before serving. --

This is an excellent side dish, but it also makes a great sauce for pasta, or when topped with shave Pecorino Romano Cheese, a delicious appetizer.

1 head
3 tbsp.
1 cup
4 cloves
1 tsp.

2 cups
cauliflower (@ 2.5 lbs) or 3 smaller romanesco heads of cauliflower
extra virgin olive oil
diced onions
garlic, crushed
fresh or dried bay leaves
crushed red pepper
cored, peeled and seeded, tomatoes or one 16 oz can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and seeded.

Pull off the cauliflower leaves and cut out the core.  Break the cauliflower head into florets no larger than 1.5".  In a large casserole, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring until wilted, about 4 minutes.  Add the cauliflower, bay leaves, and peperoncino and season lightly with salt.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, crush the tomatoes by hand.  Add the tomatoes to the cauliflower and cook, covered, until the cauliflower is very tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about another 30 minutes.  Check the cauliflower after 20 minutes.  There should be just enough liquid to lightly coat it.  If there is more, finish cooking the cauliflower uncovered.  Season with salt and serve hot.

Cauliflower Salad Idea from a CSA member:

Another way to use cauliflower--raw in salads. Chop off the heads from the stems and separate. Sprinkle them over lettuce with grated carrots, cilantro, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.


1/2 lb Masoor Dal (Pink Lentils)
1 Cauliflower
1 bunch purple onions, finely chopped (or two regular onions)
1/2 Cup Ghee or Oil (I used less with great success: 2 Tablespoons, try whatever amount your current oil use is, I used a light olive oil in place of the ghee. -julia)
1 teaspoon Ground Chili
2 teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
1/2 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
2 teaspoons Ground Turmeric J
uice of 1/2 Lemon
2 1/2 cups vegetables or chicken Broth
2 oz Dried Coconut
1/2 Tablespoon Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
4 ounces Raw Cashew Nuts

Wash the Lentils well and drain. Heat the Ghee or Oil in a large saucepan and fry the Onions. When they soften add the Chili, Pepper, Cumin, Coriander, and Turmeric. Stir in well and cook for 30 seconds or so. Add the Lentils. Stir well to ensure that each grain is coated and add the Lemon Juice. Cut the Cauliflower into small florets and add to the pan. Add the Chicken Stock and the Coconut. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Mix the flour with some of the liquid to form a smooth paste and stir into the saucepan. Add the Salt and Cashews. Cook a further 5-10 minutes until the Lentils have formed a thick sauce. This dish is a complete meal in itself when served with plain boiled rice.


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