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.
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Cauliflower proves the perfect backdrop to all your favorite fall — or otherwise — flavors. What it lacks in color these snow-white florets make up for in versatility and texture. Do what you will with them: steam or roast, fry or purée. In the end, it’s an in-season veggie worth talking about.
This fall, make moves on some of Food Network’s best cauliflower recipes.
Like potatoes, cauliflower does well when cheese enters the mix. Try it out with Bobby Flay’s creamy Cauliflower-Goat Cheese Gratin, which comes laced with Monterey Jack and grated Parmesan as well. For a subtler sprinkle, make Giada De Laurentiis’ Roasted Cauliflower With Parmesan and Pancetta with an decidedly Italian influence.
For bold Middle Eastern sides that would go well with charred steaks or lamb chops, listen up. Claire Robinson’s Roasted Cauliflower With Dates and Pine Nuts recipe for Food Network Magazine (pictured above) works up a nice browning on the florets, and Anne Burrell’s Spice-Roasted Cauliflower and Jerusalem Artichokes recipe for Food Network Magazine brightens up any plate it hits.
For the calorie cutters among us, Food Network Magazine’s Cauliflower With Tomatoes is just the thing. This side breathes flavor with healthy additions like lemon juice, cilantro and loads of spices.
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We’re big cauliflower lovers in the Food Network test kitchen, but we understand not everyone shares our enthusiasm. To recruit more fans for our cruciferous friend, we steamed and pureed it for the Super-Stuffed Baked Potatoes on page 70 of Food Network Magazine’s October issue. We didn’t have to use sour cream because of the creaminess of the cauliflower. Plus, it added fiber, calcium and vitamin C. We also turned to cauliflower to replace the meat in the Spicy Vegetarian Chili from the magazine’s January/February 2012 issue, page 106: We coarsely grated it raw and stirred it in at the end. Use pureed cauliflower to thicken soups, or add it to a dip to replace some of the fat.
Boost your immune system with vitamin C before cold and flu season sets in by eating more cauliflower. A member of the cabbage family, cauliflower can be boiled, baked or sautéed, but for a well-browned exterior and a flavorful, moist interior, roasting is the way to go.
Start simple with Emeril’s Oven-Roasted Cauliflower With Garlic, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice. We bet even the biggest cauliflower-haters will think twice after sampling this quick yet flavorful dish.
Claire’s Roasted Cauliflower With Dates and Pine Nuts (pictured above) is a wonderful fall side for those willing to experiment with flavor. Roasting the cauliflower makes it slightly sweet and turns into an unexpected complement to the dates.
Try Guy’s Roasted and Pureed Cauliflower as a mashed-potato substitute. With only six ingredients, this side is an easy addition to any weeknight meal.
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No need to keep an eye on this risotto. Just add rice, wine and broth to sautéed garlic and onions, and let the oven work its magic for 15 quick minutes. Mix this creamy concoction with butter, smooth fontina cheese and fresh herbs and vegetables for a rich and satisfying fill-you-up dish.
Add a light Endive and Pear Salad from Food Network Magazine to round out this go-to weeknight meal.
Note: Make sure you use vegetable broth instead of chicken.
Get the recipe: Roasted Cauliflower Risotto
Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.
- Farmer Jones is this blogger's newest Facebook friend.
Celebrity chefs are everywhere these days, but I think I’ve just met my first celebrity farmer. Farmer Lee Jones supplies vegetables to top chefs all over the country, but he’s a star in his own right, always decked out in his signature bow tie-and-overalls ensemble. Check him out on Facebook—he’s got 4,832 friends!
If you caught Battle Cauliflower on Iron Chef America a couple of weeks ago, you may recognize Farmer Jones. He provided the secret ingredient straight from the farm, and also joined in on the judges’ panel. Chefs Michael Symon and John Fraser produced some incredible cauliflower creations, using not just the familiar white florets, but also Farmer Jones’s purple, orange and romanesco varieties. Notoriously finicky judge Jeffrey Steingarten called it “the most amazing battle ever.”
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