The trick in serving cauliflower is all in the preparation. If you overcook it, it is just plain disgusting or if you serve it plain, it is very drab and boring. However, you will see this vegetable featured in soups, gratins, curries, risotto, pastas and salads from India to deep in the Mediterranean. When you go to the produce section in the winter, it is all but bare save for Cauliflower, which is actually at its peak.
While most of us are used to the plain white cauliflower, there are many varieties currently available today: purples, light green and pale oranges are examples. They all have similar tastes so you can liven up your recipes by substituting them for each other at any time.
Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which feature phytonutrients and enzymes, in fact, it is loaded with them. These will help neutralize damaging toxins that can hurt your bodies cells. Cauliflower is also loaded with other beneficial properties such as the vitamins, B5, B6, C, and K. It is also rich in folate and dietary fiber along with being a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and manganese. This is more than enough reason to make sure that you include it in your diet plan.
If your children are like most and grimace when you put a big bowl of steaming cauliflower on the table, try serving it raw. For whatever reason, the kids who scream the most about eating veggies will actually gobble up raw cauliflower.
Goat Cheese Topped Cauliflower Gratin
This is a great vegetarian dish and super easy to make.
- 2 pounds of cauliflower, broken into florets
- 3 T olive oil, extra-virgin
- Pepper, Fresh ground
- 6 oz goat cheese, fresh
- 1 garlic clove, shoot removed and cut in half
- 5 T milk, low fat
- 1 t thyme leaves, fresh (you may use a ½ of dried if fresh is not available)
- 1/4 C breadcrumbs, dried
1. Get a 2 qt gratin dish and oil it up while pre-heating oven to 450 degrees.
2. Bring water to boil and place cauliflower in steaming basket about one inch above the waterline. Place cover over basket and allow to steam for one minute. After one minute, allow steam to escape for 15 seconds by lifting the lid. Replace cover and stead for an additional 6-8 minutes, cauliflower will be tender. Remove from steaming dish and run under cold water, pat dry with paper towels and then place in gratin dish.
3. Add an ample amount of salt and pepper and then toss with half of the thyme and 2T of olive oil. Evenly spread in dish.
4. In a mortar, place garlic and 1/4t of salt, use pestle to mash into paste. Move over to food processor and combine with goat cheese and milk and blend until smooth. Combine remainder of thyme and pepper to taste. When complete, spread mixture evenly across the top of the cauliflower.
5. When you are ready to place gratin in the over, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and then drizzle the remainder of the olive oil on top. Place in over and bake for 15-20 minutes. You should see a light brown color and dish should be sizzling. Serve immediately. Yield: Serves 4