Now, this is a kind of steak that we crave come Meatless Monday. Instead of beefy chops, make vegetables the star of the meal, as Valerie Bertinelli does with this fuss-free dish featuring cauliflower from Food Network Magazine.
3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.
Restaurants are serving up cauliflower in a whole new way — literally. Whole roasted heads of the cruciferous vegetable are the latest crowning glory at the table. After roasting them, chefs get creative with sauces and embellishments that take this vegetable from mundane to magnificent.
What can’t cauliflower do? With its ability to transform into any number of forms, unassuming cauliflower is a veggie with serious superpowers. It can be fried, pureed, mashed, roasted and more, all with a flavor that feels more indulgent than the vegetable truly is. Now that this hearty and versatile vegetable is in season, use it as a stand-in for some of your favorites, whether it’s as an appetizer, a side dish or a main.
Nibbling chicken wings off the bone is an American pastime that isn’t going anywhere, but Food Network Kitchen has developed a no-meat version of the bar and party snack that everyone can dig into. Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce (pictured above) is sure to please, with a spicy Buffalo coating and a cool, creamy blue cheese dipping sauce. Plus, it comes with a fraction of the calories and fat of Buffalo wings.
Macaroni and cheese, hold the mac — that’s the idea behind this week’s We Asked, You Cooked dish: a top-rated Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese Casserole that’s garnered nearly 200 fan reviews on FoodNetwork.com. In place of the traditional pasta, the recipe swaps in better-for-you cauliflower for a lighter, vegetable-forward dish, but thanks to the creamy cheddar sauce, there’s no shortage of richness. As in weeks past, in true Food Network fan fashion you all answered the call in droves when we asked you to show us your food-photo skills by making this casserole and snapping a photo of it. We’ve scanned the submissions and narrowed it down to two entries that stopped us in mid-scroll. Read on below to find out who submitted our top picks.
From Cooking for Kishore: Pictured above
Much like simply grilled chicken and the classic hamburger, cauliflower is a culinary blank canvas that can be paired with myriad other flavors and textures, like creamy cheeses, bold spices and tangy hot sauce, depending on what you’re craving and what ingredients you happen to have on hand. The beauty of cauliflower is that this vegetable can stand to be cooked at high temperatures and it maintains its sturdy consistency even when crumbled, so it can even be turned into something new altogether, like a pizza crust. Check out Food Network’s top-five new twists on cauliflower to get must-try recipe ideas from Katie Lee, Guy Fieri, Ina Garten and more of your favorite chefs.
5. Cauliflower Pizza Crust — There’s no dough required to make Katie’s easy cauliflower-based pizza crust. She simply processes the vegetable until it’s fine, then adds eggs and a duo of cheese for moisture before shaping into a traditional circle and baking.
4. Cauliflower-Onion Linguini — Ready to eat in only 35 minutes, Food Network Magazine’s healthy pasta delivers on both taste and texture, thanks to a sweet sauce of toasted onions, fresh basil and plenty of tender cauliflower. For a bite of welcome crunch, fry the onions with panko breadcrumbs and finish the dish with a sprinkle of pine nuts.
No longer second-string components on the dinner table, side dishes can indeed take center stage — and perhaps even upset a meaty main dish — when they become packed with flavor, as in this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week.
Made with only a handful of ingredients, Food Network Kitchen’s Mustard-Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower is as striking to look at as it is easy to prepare. Just brush the vegetable with mustard, then roast the cauliflower until it’s tender and finish with a topping of nutty Parmesan and fresh parsley. Serve fresh lemon alongside for a light, fresh finish to this good-for-you side.
For more go-to side dish recipes, visit Food Network’s Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Mustard-Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower (pictured above)
Before you relegate your next head of cauliflower to side dish status once again, reconsider this in-season veggie for its unconventionally substantial uses. From standing proudly as a main dish to acting as your next party-friendly appetizer, cauliflower is capable of some serious dish power. Let us list the ways:
- Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce: Even if you’re accustomed to nibbling chicken wings off the bone, think of cauliflower florets as yet another way to get your weekly intake of spicy Buffalo sauce. Dip this healthier game-time alternative into homemade blue cheese sauce for the full package.
To create Food Network Magazine‘s trimmed-down mac and cheese (pictured above), we skipped the usual butter-flour roux and used pureed cooked cauliflower as a thickener. The cauliflower doesn’t alter the flavor — it just adds creaminess without the fat. It’s a great way to sneak in fiber and vitamins too. Try the cheese sauce from this recipe on top of veggies or other sides.
(Photograph by Justin Walker)
Vegetarian eating during the holidays can be tricky, as so many classic main dishes are meaty picks, like turkey, ham and beef. If you’re hosting the celebration this year, you can plan ahead and make a selection of meatless favorites (in addition to beefier items, if you’d like). But if you’ll be gathering at someone else’s house and can’t guarantee what the host will be serving, it’s a good idea to bring at least one vegetarian dish to pass; this way you’ll know you have at least one dish to eat come dinnertime.
Bobby’s Cauliflower-Goat Cheese Gratin (pictured above) is a go-to pick, as it’s every bit as rich and satisfying as a traditional main dish, but it’s wholly meat-free. The beauty of this casserole is that it’s relatively hands-off to prepare. After arranging cauliflower florets alongside a trio of creamy, nutty cheeses and decadent heavy cream, he simply bakes the dish until the vegetables are soft. Your vegetarian guests will enjoy having a comforting, filling dish available, while meat eaters will appreciate the creamy cheese sauce coating each floret.
It’s November, and for all we know, you’re already knee-deep in beef stew, spaghetti and meatballs, and chicken noodle soup. We get it. Fall means comfort: stews so tender the meat is falling off the bone and casseroles so cozy you get knocked into a nap at the last bite.
Here’s the thing: Comfort food doesn’t need to be synonymous with meat. Believe it or not, even the most unassuming veggies have the power to cure us of all our woes. Leave it to cauliflower — and these recipes — to bring you all kinds of comfort this season.
Stir a pot of risotto to sultry completion, this time with roasted cauliflower florets and sliced almonds adding that extra crunch. Food Network Magazine’s Roasted Cauliflower Risotto (pictured above) can work as a rich main dish, or as a smaller side.