are a peculiar thing, especially when you live in a city
that doesn’t exactly shape the zeitgeist. Somebody
somewhere decides something is the Next Big Thing, and even
though you might have previously been totally clueless,
suddenly you’ve also got to have it, do it, see it.
it the lemming effect.
especially weird when it comes to food. Each new year, the
foodie powers-that-be come up with a list of hot culinary
treats all the cool kids have discovered. Last year, for
example, kale ruled supreme. No matter that the cruciferous
vegetable (in my and many others’ opinion) doesn’t taste
all that great — in 2014, you couldn’t escape it. Kale
salad. Kale chips. Even kale smoothies, chocolate chip
cookies and ice cream. Even McDonald’s has jumped on
board: Earlier this month, the fast-food giant announced
plans to add kale as an ingredient in a to-be-named product
at some restaurants later this year.
cats, though, are fickle.
has stolen the spotlight from kale as the hot new food of
thinking, "God, no! Not that brain-like cabbage my Nana
used to stink up the house with!" you might be in for a
surprise. Turns out that like last year’s leafy cousin,
cauliflower is incredibly versatile.
longer relegated raw to the relish tray, the creamy-white
veggie — part of the Brassica oleracea family — can be
grated into a dough for pizza (you bind it with cheese and
egg), be mashed like potatoes and be diced and fried with
onion as hash. I’ve also seen recipes for cauliflower mac
‘n’ cheese, cauliflower fritters and — maybe my fave
— cauliflower buffalo "chicken" sandwiches.
also a heck of a lot prettier than kale. Thought to date
back to the 6th century B.C., cauliflower now comes in
colors other than white, such as purple, orange and green.
What also makes it worth your consideration: It’s chock
full of vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritional rock
both fat and carbs (one cup has just 27 calories),
cauliflower is high in dietary fiber, folate, water and
vitamin C. It’s also a good source of folate and choline,
a B vitamin known for its role in brain development.
on the season and vendor, cauliflower sells for anywhere
from $2.99 a head to as much as $7. But even at the higher
price, it’s cheaper than a pound of quality ground beef,
and can stretch just as far in a recipe, as demonstrated in
the incredibly tasty Cauliflower Parmesan that follows.
if cauliflower wasn’t 2015’s "it" vegetable, I’d
want to make this recipe. It’s comfort food at its best.
cup all-purpose flour
large eggs, lightly beaten
panko or plain unseasoned bread crumbs
salt, as needed
pepper, as needed
medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 2-inch florets
oil, for frying
Simple Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)
finely grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
pound fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
the oven to 400 degrees. Place flour, eggs and panko into 3
wide, shallow bowls. Season each generously with salt and
pepper. Dip a cauliflower piece first in flour, then eggs,
then coat with panko. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
large skillet with 1/2-inch oil. Place over medium-high
heat. When oil is hot, fry cauliflower in batches, turning
halfway through, until golden brown. Transfer fried
cauliflower pieces to a paper towel-lined plate.
a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch
baking pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the Parmesan over sauce. Scatter
half cauliflower mixture over the Parmesan and top with half
the mozzarella pieces. Top with half the remaining sauce,
sprinkle with another third of the Parmesan and repeat
layering, ending with a final layer of sauce and Parmesan.
pan to oven and bake until cheese is golden and casserole is
bubbling, about 40 minutes. Let cool a few minutes before
Melissa Clark, New York Times
cup extra-virgin olive oil
garlic cloves, thinly sliced
teaspoon red chile flakes (optional)
28-ounce cans whole or diced plum tomatoes
sprigs basil or 1 bay leaf
teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
teaspoon black pepper
large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat, warm the
oil. Add garlic and cook until just lightly golden. Add
chile flakes if desired and cook 30 seconds.
in tomatoes and juices, basil or bay leaf and salt and
sauce to a simmer and cook until sauce is thick and tomatoes
have mostly fallen apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust
heat as needed to keep at a steady simmer. If using whole
plum tomatoes, mash them up with the back of a wooden spoon
or a potato masher to help them break down. Remove sauce
from heat and discard basil or bay leaf.
MIDDLETON’S PASTA ALFREDO
eat meat or dairy? This pasta dish was surprisingly yummy.
And absent the heavy cream and butter used in a traditional
Alfredo sauce, it won’t weigh you down. The original
recipe called for a vegan "Parmesan" topping, but
I used the real thing.
ounces fresh cauliflower florets (not frozen)
garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
cup olive oil
teaspoons sea salt, divided
pound brown rice penne or fusilli
tablespoons lemon juice
ground black pepper
fresh Italian parsley
cheese for garnish
oven to 425 degrees.
cauliflower, garlic and onion on a large rimmed baking sheet
and drizzle with oil. Season with 1 teaspoon of the salt,
then roast for about 30 minutes, or until veggies are fork
tender, turning frequently with a spatula. Add more oil as
bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and
cook according to package direction. Drain and return to
roasted vegetables to blender and add almond milk, lemon
juice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend until very
smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste, remove from blender and
toss with hot pasta. Season with pepper and top with parsley
and Parmesan. Serve immediately.
4 to 6.
Adapted from "Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen" by
Chloe Coscarelli (Atria, 2014, $19.99)
AND TURNIP SOUP
easy, and so delicious. And surprisingly silky for a soup
that doesn’t include milk or cream.
medium onion, roughly chopped
shallot, roughly chopped
cloves garlic, halved
teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
medium head cauliflower, washed, trimmed and cut into 2-inch
2 to 3
medium purple-topped turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch
teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
6 to 8
cups chicken stock (homemade or boxed), divided
ground black pepper
nutmeg for grating
large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter
until foamy. Add onion, shallot and garlic; season with
salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add
cauliflower, turnips, thyme, bay leaf and 6 cups chicken
stock, and stir to combine.
to a simmer and cook until cauliflower and turnips are
tender, about 20 minutes. Taste for seasonings and adjust if
necessary. Remove bay leaf and using an immersion blender,
blend to a smooth consistency. (You also can work in small
batches with a countertop blender.) If the soup is too
thick, add some of the remaining stock. Taste again for
seasoning and adjust if necessary.
with black pepper and a pinch of grated nutmeg when serving.
"Root to Leaf: A Southern Chef Cooks Through the
Seasons" by Steven Satterfield (Harper Collins; March
3, 2015; $45)
BEER AND LIME CAULIFLOWER TACOS WITH CILANTRO COLESLAW
heck were these good! I simmered the cauliflower in Dogfish
Head 60 Minute IPA, but any beer would work. The slaw would
be great as a side on its own, or as a topping for any
sandwich. No leftovers on this one.
head of green cabbage (about 1/2 pound)
tablespoons lime juice
tablespoons rice vinegar
teaspoon olive oil
cup chopped cilantro
cauliflower (about 1 pound)
cup vegetable broth
tablespoon lime juice
teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
tablespoons chipotle hot sauce
1 to 2
garlic cloves, sliced
teaspoons chili powder
teaspoon smoked paprika
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon garlic powder
tablespoon olive oil
yellow onion, chopped
salsa, for serving
the slaw: Cut the cabbage into the thinnest strips you can
and make sure those pieces are no longer than 2 inches. This
is a great time to get good with your knife if you are
looking for a silver ... lining in all that chopping. Chop
the carrot into thin matchsticks of the same length. In a
small bowl, mix together the lime juice, vinegar, oil and
salt. Add the dressing right before you are going to eat and
toss that well. Fold in the cilantro just before serving.
the tacos: Crank your oven to 400 degrees. Chop the
cauliflower into small florets no bigger than a quarter. In
a saucepan over medium heat, warm the beer, broth, lime
juice, tamari, hot sauce, and garlic. Add the cauliflower
and simmer for about 90 seconds. Drain.
large bowl, toss the spices, salt, and olive oil together.
Add the cauliflower and onion and stir until those are
coated. Dump it on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until
browned, stirring halfway, about 20 minutes.
assemble the tacos, warm the tortillas in the oven or
microwave for a hot minute and then pile them high with the
cauliflower filling, slices of avocado, some of the slaw and
top with plenty of salsa.
Edited from the funnily profane "Thug Kitchen: The
Official Cookbook" (Rodale, 2014, $24.99)
gluten-free pizza is easy as pie, and just as tasty (though
my crust didn’t get as crisp as I would have liked in the
middle, even when baked on a pizza stone). My son and his
girlfriend had to guess at the ingredients — a clever way
to sneak in some nutritional goodies without them knowing
cups cauliflower, grated (about 1/2 a large head)
large egg, lightly beaten
cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
cup tomato sauce
grape tomatoes, sliced in half
cloves garlic, sliced
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
basil leaves, optional
rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat oven
to 425 degrees.
the cauliflower using a box grater until you have 2 cups of
cauliflower crumbles. Place in a large bowl and microwave
for 7 to 8 minutes or until soft. Remove from the microwave
and let cool.
the egg, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and salt and
pepper. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round on the
prepared pizza pan. Spray lightly with nonstick spray and
bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden.
the pizza with the sauce, 1/4 cup mozzarella, grape
tomatoes, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bake in the oven
until melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes. Top with basil