3 ways to cook cauliflower

It’s the winter season, and cauliflower, being in season, is having a moment.

I can’t help but think back to a few years ago and how so many of us wouldn’t touch cauliflower (or any member of the brassica family really) and would refuse to eat it, no matter how fancy it looked. Oh how times have changed.

Cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables on the planet. This versatile vegetable can become a meat substitute, a hearty vegetarian stand-in for steaks and meat in curries. It plays nicely with cream and butter, too.

Cauliflower can also become a starch or grain substitute in an instant, making it a staple of gluten-free or paleo recipes like pizza, mashed potatoes and so much more.

Sadly, it gets pushed aside as an unwanted vegetable too easily. But, I am here to say that those that claim to not love cauliflower just have not had it properly made. If you still need some convincing here are three best ways to enjoy cauliflower.

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Cauliflower pizza

Makes: 4

Ingredients

300g cauliflower florets

150g ground almonds

50ml psyllium husks

180ml grated Parmesan cheese

5ml salt

2 eggs

Coconut flour for rolling

Bottled pasta sauce

About 300g grated mozzarella cheese

Toppings of your choice

Method

Chop the cauliflower in a processor. Place in a bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes.

Remove and cool slightly. Tip into a clean tea towel and wring out as much water as possible.

Put the cauliflower into a mixing bowl and add the ground almonds, psyllium husks, Parmesan cheese, and salt and mix well.

Add the eggs and mix to form a dough. Set aside covered for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 portions and roll each one out to form a disc on a work surface dusted with coconut flour.

Place the discs onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake at 200°C for 10-15 minutes until golden around the edges.

Remove and spread with a layer of the pasta sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and add the toppings of your choice.

Place under a heated grill to melt the cheese.

Serve immediately.

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Cauliflower gnocchi

Ingredients

4 cups cauliflower florets

½ tsp sea salt

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

½ cup flour

¼ cup potato starch

Method

Fill a medium pot with 6 cm of water. Place a steamer basket into the pot, cover, and bring water to a simmer over high heat.

Add the cauliflower florets and steam until fork-tender, 10 to 13 minutes.

Cool the steamed cauliflower slightly and transfer to a cheesecloth or kitchen towel. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible, about ¾ cup of water. This should yield about 1 ¼ cup of squeezed cauliflower.

Add the cauliflower, sea salt, and 2 tablespoons olive oil to a food processor. A process on high speed until the puree feels smooth in between your fingers, scraping down the sides as needed, 30 seconds. Then pulse for another 5 seconds.

Whisk together potato starch and flour in a medium-sized bowl. Add the pureed cauliflower and use a fork to mix the dough, just until the starches are combined. Lightly knead the dough until it comes together and can be rolled.

Once combined, use your hands to gently knead the dough 3 or 4 times and then turn out onto the cutting board. The dough will be smooth, soft, and slightly tacky to the touch. Don’t overwork.

Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each piece into a 6 cm log that is 1 cm thick. Cut each log into 1 cm pieces.

For a ribbed pattern, roll the gnocchi over the back of the tines of a fork or gnocchi board.

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a medium pot. Carefully add the gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out and drain the gnocchi, and then transfer to a lightly oiled sheet pan.

Recipe by Jessica Gavin.

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Sweet and sour cauliflower

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup of cornstarch

⅓ cup of oil plus 3 tablespoons, divided

For the sauce

½ cup of apple cider vinegar

¼ cup of ketchup

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

⅓ cup of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of garlic salt

1 tbsp cornstarch plus 2 tbsp water

For serving

Sesame seeds, green onion, and rice or quinoa.

Method

Preheat your oven to 218 degrees C and lightly grease a baking sheet.

Place the cauliflower in a large plastic baggie (you can also do this in a large bowl) and toss in the salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of the oil. Give it a good shake to coat the cauliflower and then add in the half cup of cornstarch. Toss again until covered in the cornstarch.

Heat ⅓ cup of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add in the cauliflower and fry for about 5 minutes, tossing to cook on all sides. Once done, place on the baking sheet.

Make the sauce by whisking together the apple cider vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic salt, and cornstarch plus water. Pour the sauce over top of the cauliflower and toss.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cauliflower is just starting to get crispy.

Serve with sesame seeds, green onion.

Recipe by Food with Feeling.

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