The Healthy Foodies love cauliflower! While it can be boring all by itself, cauliflower’s versatility and nutty texture--when cooked properly—make it a staple in our kitchen. Along with broccoli and cabbage, it is one of the most healthful veggies in the market, and you can get it year-round. Local farmers may have some at their stands right now, in July.
Here are a couple of tasty recipes with cauliflower as a star ingredient—one with an Italian accent, the other featuring Indian flavors. You can substitute the broccoli/cauliflower hybrid “broco-flower,” if you like.
Pasta with Cauliflower, Currants and Pine Nuts
Note: You can omit the anchovies if you prefer, but the ingredient does add depth to the dish.
½ cup dried currants
¼ cup white wine
3 cups cauliflower florets, steamed lightly until tender but still firm
¼ cup olive oil
4 anchovy filets
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pound pasta, preferably whole wheat (can use spaghetti type pasta or shapes such as penne), cooked according to package directions
¼ cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs, toasted
1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Soak currants in wine for about 15 minutes and set aside.
Heat a large skillet and add olive oil. Add anchovies and cook over high heat for about 1 minute, mashing them with a wooden spoon. Add cauliflower and cook until it begins to brown. Add pine nuts, currents in the wine and crushed red pepper. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta, water and half of the grated cheese. When dish is heated through, adjust seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to a large serving bowl, sprinkle with toasted bread crumbs and the rest of the cheese. Serve immediately.
Note: Make this a mild dish or a spicy one depending on the type of curry powder you use.
3 cups cauliflower florets, steamed or blanched until fork-tender but still firm
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil, plus cooking spray as needed
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
½ cup celery, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons curry powder (or to taste)
2 cups canned, diced tomatoes, drained
½ cup water
1 15-ounce can chick peas, drained and rinsed
½ cup regular or golden raisins
½ cup Major Grey chutney, or more to taste
½ cup fat-free half and half or light coconut milk
¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
Heat oil in large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. (Use cooking spray to coat bottom of pan with a thin film of oil, if needed.) Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until vegetables start to become tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in curry powder and blend well into vegetables. Add tomatoes, water, chick peas, chutney and cauliflower and cook, stirring, until mixture is well blended. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until dish is heated through. Uncover, add half and half or coconut milk. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with slivered almonds and serve over rice (white or brown).