Tuesday, March 02, 2010

How much do you know about cauliflower?

There's a few things I know about cauliflower and one of them is that I don't actually cook with it very much. Nothing against cauliflower, but it's just not on my vegetable radar all that often. And come to think of it, I don't really see it on restaurant menus often either. Why is that?

Cauliflower is available year-round and can be eaten may different ways- roasted, pan fried, pureed, mashed, boiled, steamed or eaten raw. It's related to cabbage and broccoli, and is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C.

Once you start looking for recipes for this great white floret, you'll find a great number for curried cauliflower. This is because the mild flavoured cauliflower pairs so well with the strong, spicy flavour of curry. Cauliflower also pairs well with garlic, like in a creamy roasted cauliflower and garlic soup.

An old issue of Bon Appetit (September 2004) has a good recipe for roasted curried cauliflower that's worth giving a try, with a few alterations. Roasted cauliflower and red onions with a tasty mix of cumin, coriander and curry. There is one thing that I'll do differently with this recipe next time, and that's tossing the roasted dish in a little nonfat yogurt to finish it off. Just to add a little creaminess that I fell is missing.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower (serves 2-3)

1 head of cauliflower, cut into medium sized florets
1 large red onion, peeled, quartered
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place cauliflower florets in large roasting pan. Pull apart onion quarters into separate layers; add to cauliflower.

Stir coriander seeds and cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until slightly darkened, about 3-4 minutes. Crush coarsely in mortar with pestle.

Place crushed seeds in medium bowl. Whisk in oil, vinegar, curry powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in single layer.

Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.

Mound vegetables in large bowl and sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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