Author: Trish Sebben-Krupka
You probably already know that cauliflower is amazingly good for you—high in fiber, low in calories, chock full of vitamins, minerals, Omega-3 fatty acids, and disease-fighting antioxidants—but my favorite thing about it is that it’s incredibly versatile. Need a low-cal, low-carb substitute for rice or mashed potatoes, or something with enough bite to stand in for meat? Want to increase your fiber intake without a ton of calories? Or maybe you’re looking for an ingredient that can carry strong flavors without competing with them. Cauliflower is there for you. Chop it, roast it, rice it, sauté it, steam it, curry it, stir fry it, or just eat it raw with a delicious dip.
Our newest menu item, Korean BBQ lettuce wraps, uses cauliflower in place of chicken for a kinder, better-for-you filling that’s absolutely addictive when piled into lettuce leaves with a savory sauce and my super-quick kimchi. This is exactly the kind of food I love eating in the summer—warm and cool, soft and crunchy, salty and spicy flavors in a meal that will satisfy you without weighing you down.
Do your kids miss meat in their pasta sauce? Steam cauliflower until crisp-tender, chop it finely, and stir it into your favorite tomato sauce to serve with spaghetti. Hate the thought of serving white rice with dinner again? Pulse that cauliflower in the food processor and sauté it in some olive oil or plant-based butter until tender. It only takes 5 minutes and it’s fabulous! Cook it a little longer, then mash it with a little bit of soy or rice milk, salt and pepper, and some more “butter”, and you’ve got mashed “potatoes”.
I love to embrace the sweet, flavorful nature of cauliflower by roasting it in a hot oven, with some garlic, bread crumbs, and pine nuts thrown in toward the end. Serve it hot or cold, on its own or with pasta, for lunch or dinner. Repeat often!
1 head cauliflower, stem removed, florets cut into bite-size pieces
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup bread crumbs
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, toss cauliflower florets, olive oil, a large pinch of sea salt, and several grinds of fresh black pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes, then stir and roast for 10 minutes more.
- In a small bowl, stir together garlic, pine nuts, bread crumbs, and a generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Sprinkle over the cauliflower and return to the oven. Continue to roast until breadcrumbs are toasted and cauliflower is golden, about 5 minutes. Spoon into a serving dish, being sure to scrape up all the toasted breadcrumbs and browned bits of cauliflower, and enjoy!
Top Photo: VegTable’s Korean Lettuce Wraps
Bottom Photo: www.finecooking.com/