CAULIFLOWER TWO WAYS
Cauliflower may not inspire much passion as far as vegetables go, but we think there are plenty of reasons to love it. It is delicious simply roasted, but it is also a great substitute for protein and starches because of its hearty texture. Here are two of our favorite methods of preparation. And don’t worry, we’ve got more cauliflower recipes coming your way in the future!
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
Serves 4 as a side
2 pounds cauliflower florets
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper
6-7 fresh sage leaves
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
In a small skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and cook until brown and crispy, but not burnt, about 1 minute. Remove the sage leaves from skillet and place on a paper towel. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining Tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Set aside.
Steam the Cauliflower: First, make sure your florets are all cut into uniform sized pieces so that they cook evenly. If some florets are too large, cut them in half or quarters. Add about 2 inches of water to a saucepan and insert a steamer basket. The bottom of the steamer basket shouldn’t touch the top of the water. Bring the water to a boil, scatter the cauliflower over the steamer basket, cover the saucepan and reduce heat to medium so that the water is at a steady simmer. Cook the florets until easily pierced with a fork, 8-10 minutes. Remove the cauliflower florets to a paper towel lined plate to dry for just a second.
Add the warm cauliflower to a food processor along with garlic, salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. Puree until the mixture has reached a smooth consistency. If the consistency is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and pulse a few more times. Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Garnish with the fried sage and crushed red pepper flakes; serve warm!
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
Safflower or peanut oil for frying
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
3 egg whites
1 ½ cups tapioca flour
¼ cup Old Bay seasoning
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt for the batter
Flaky sea salt for finishing
Half of a lemon for finishing
Fill a heavy bottom pot with 1 ½ inches of safflower oil. Attach a candy thermometer to the side and heat the oil to 350 degrees. Place a cooling rack over a sheet tray (alternatively, you can line a large plate with paper towels) and keep this on the counter nearby the pot of oil.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the tapioca flour, Old Bay seasoning and the kosher salt. Working in batches, toss the cauliflower florets in egg whites and then add them to the flour mixture, making sure the florets are completely covered in flour.
Shake off the excess flour and using a fine mesh sieve or big slotted spoon gently place the cauliflower into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to the sheet tray and repeat until all florets have been fried. While the cauliflower florets are still hot, sprinkle them with flaky sea salt and drizzle with fresh squeezed lemon juice.