Beyond the Veggie Tray: Cauliflower’s Starring Role — Meatless Monday by Maria Russo in Recipes, October 8th, 2012
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No longer confined to just meager veggie trays, cauliflower is a staple of fall produce that shines in bold, full-flavored dishes of the season. Since it’s a hearty, filling vegetable, it’s a go-to ingredient for those avoiding meat, as it can easily beef up salads, sides and main dishes alike. Think of cauliflower as the starting point to your dish and add other flavors and ingredients, like fragrant spices, fresh herbs, creamy cheeses and more, to take it to the next delicious level. Check out Food Network’s favorite three ways to enjoy cauliflower then tell us how you like to prepare it.
With just a handful of ingredients, Anne Burrell prepares Spice-Roasted Cauliflower and Jerusalem Artichokes (pictured above), a five-star side from Food Network Magazine with a crispy texture and warm flavors. She tosses the cauliflower and Jerusalem artichokes — root vegetables — with a mixture of cumin and cayenne pepper and slowly roasts them until they’re tender and golden brown. Just a scoop of these beauties will round out any fall-inspired meal.
Similar to roasting cauliflower with spices is baking it with cheese. Food Network Magazine’s Cauliflower Gratin (pictured left) combines cauliflower florets with nutty Gruyere and a splash of cream for a decadent dish that turns richly satisfying in less than an hour. For extra crunch, sprinkle the cauliflower with breadcrumbs before baking it — the topping will become toasted and deliciously crispy in the oven.
Let cauliflower be the star of your main dish with this recipe for Sicilian Cauliflower Pasta (pictured right) from Food Network Magazine. Ready to enjoy in only 30 minutes, it’s a simple, light meal that’s made with whole-wheat penne, fresh cauliflower, chewy golden raisins and bright dill and parsley. The secret to this dish is a dash of red pepper flakes that’s added to sauteing garlic and olive oil; it adds a hint of heat without overpowering flavors. Before you drain the pasta, be sure to reserve at least one cup of the boiling water — you may need it to loosen the sauce after mixing in Italian cheese.
Visit Food Network’s Fall Produce Guide to find more ways to cook with in-season produce.