Thursday, 28 July 2011
What do I do with...cauliflower?
I suspect that, for most people, the knee jerk thing to do with cauliflower is to serve it with cheese sauce. But, my very earliest childhood memory of cauliflower is fishing it out of the bottle of pickled veg before my Dad got to it. They were his favourites, too, so competition was hot!
From this, you will deduce that you can pickle it very successfully.
It can also be eaten raw, chopped up into small pieces in a salad or larger pieces to serve with a dip.
It works very well in a stew. You should pop it in fairly late, though, because it contains high levels of water and could go a bit mushy otherwise. Mind you, some people like it like that. In fact, if you cook it long enough to go fairly soft (don't destroy it!), you can mash it up with potatoes.
Served as a veg in its own right, it can be steamed or boiled (I prefer steamed, you won't be astonished to hear). If you fancy adding the cheese sauce, or even just white sauce, you go right ahead, but don't be misled into thinking that this is the only option and that cauliflower is off the menu if you've run out of milk and/or cheese.
I once ate a cream of cauliflower soup that was absolutely delicious and was astonished to discover how easy it was to make. Here's one example, but there are many others. I have also found that a cream of cauliflower-and-butternut soup works very well, and you can make it by following the cream of cauliflower recipe, and just adding some cooked butternut at the blending stage. As far as I'm concerned, butternut and cauliflower were made for each other (a bit like Forrest Gump's peas 'n keerits).
If you like a bit of bite to your food, try this cauliflower curry. Veggies may like this chickpea and cauliflower curry, which adds the protein source.
Image by Ian Britton.