Cauliflower with Rye Crumbs

Cauliflower with Rye Crumbs
Gourmet | December 2008

4 slices day-old rye bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1 head cauliflower (2 1/2-to 3-pounds)
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, lightly crushed

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Pulse bread in a food processor to form medium-fine crumbs. Spread in a 4-sided sheet pan and toast in oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool.

Core cauliflower, keeping head intact, then cook in a large steamer rack over boiling water, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, covered. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat and stir in caraway seeds, toasted crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until hot, about 2 minutes. Spoon over cauliflower

Cauliflower Potato Curry

Cauliflower Potato Curry
From Asparagus to Zucchini

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon each: curry powder, tumeric, cumin, dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups cubed waxy potatoes
1 cup vegetable (or chicken) stock
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 slices fresh gingerroot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in deep skillet. Stir in dry spices. Add onion and garlic; cook over medium heat until tender. Add potatoes and stock, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir in cauliflower, carrot and ginger. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove cover; continue to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over white rice and top with green onion.

Cauliflower Gratin with Leeks and Gruyere

Cauliflower Gratin with Leeks and Gruyere

Bread Crumb Topping
4 slices white sandwich bread with crusts, each slice torn into quarters
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Filling
table salt
1 large head cauliflower (about 3 pounds), trimmed into 3/4-inch florets (see illustrations, below)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 leeks, halved using white and light green parts only, rinsed, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
pinch fresh ground nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground
black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup Gruyère cheese (2 ounces), plus 2 tablespoons

For the topping:
Pulse bread, butter, salt, and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses; set aside. For the filling: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven or stockpot over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and cauliflower; cook until outsides are tender but insides are still slightly crunchy, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain cauliflower in colander and rinse under cold running tap water until no longer hot. Leave cauliflower in colander to drain.

Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat; when foam subsides, add shallot and leeks and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; stir in flour until combined, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream and bring to boil. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, thyme, and 1/2 cup cheese until incorporated. Off heat, gently stir in cauliflower until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to 11- by 7-inch (2-quart) gratin dish. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons cheese evenly over surface, then sprinkle evenly with bread crumb topping. Bake until golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 475 degrees. Trim outer leaves of cauliflower and cut stem flush with bottom. Cut head into 8 equal wedges so that core and florets remain intact. Place wedges cut side down on foil or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; gently rub to evenly distribute oil and seasonings. Gently flip cauliflower and season other cut side with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper.

Cover baking sheet tightly with foil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to roast until bottoms of cauliflower pieces are golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove sheet from oven, and, using spatula, carefully flip wedges. Return sheet to oven and continue to roast until cauliflower is golden all over, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with oil (or sauce), and serve immediately.

Steamed Cauliflower with Browned Butter, Walnuts and Crispy Sage

Steamed Cauliflower with Browned Butter, Walnuts and Crispy Sage

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets, no bigger than 1 square inch in size
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
Salt and ground black pepper

Fit a large saucepan with a steamer basket. Fill the pan with just enough water to reach just below the bottom of the basket. cover and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the florets to the basket, reduce the heat to medium, cover and steam until the cauliflower is tender but fire, about 7 minutes. In the meantime heat the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and cook, swirling frequently, until the butter begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring constantly, until the nuts become fragrant, about 1 minute longer. Add the sage and cook until the sage becomes crispy, about 30 seconds. Toss the cauliflower gently with the browned butter mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Serve. This browned butter-sage-nut combination is also delicious on top of squash.

Caulifower Potato Soup

Caulifower Potato Soup

1/2 pound boiling potatoes
1/2 cup chopped lacinato kale
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 cups 1-inch cauliflower flowerets
2 T. high quality extra-virgin olive oil
freshly grated Parmesan to taste

In a saucepan combine the potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, the kale, the onion, the caraway seeds, 1 cup of the flowerets and 3 1/2 cups water, simmer the mixture for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender, and in a blender or food processor purée the mixture coarse. In the pan combine the purée and the other cup of flowerets, simmer the soup for 5 minutes, or until the flowerets are tender, salt and pepper to taste. Serve the soup sprinkled with the Parmesan and drizzled with olive oil. This is a very basic soup that can easily be scaled up. For more flavor use a stock instead of water, or toss a couple of good bullion cubes in when you add the water. The kale will give it a pale green color, you can omit that if it’s going to scare off your family, but it’s a good way to get some kale by them.