The Lighter Side Of Cauliflower

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Spring Salads and Fritters 

Broccoli and Cauliflower study by Marthucia Lombard

Broccoli and Cauliflower study by Marthucia Lombard

I’ve been mildly obsessed with cauliflower all winter and now that spring is here, it’s only getting worse (or better). Here’s what I’ve been getting up to (since sciatica has kept me out of the garden, dang). Let me know what you think!

Cauliflower Raw Yet Mellow

This gorgeous salad has everything; crunchy, savory, salty, pungent, and sweet, it’s addictively more-ish. The pre-soak in oil and vinegar “cooks” the cauliflower a bit, mellowing its bite but leaving it pleasantly crisp.

Purple Power Salad

2 cups purple cauliflower, cut in small florets
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 head red Romaine lettuce (or any), cut in ribbons
1/2 cup purple grapes, halved
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with vinegar, oil, and salt and let stand for 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, toss well and serve. Serves 4.

Cauliflower & Chick Peas & Kale &…

Make this speedy curry with coconut milk for extra richness or keep it slim and simple. Serve it with brown rice or on its own; either way, it makes a lovely meal and leftovers taste even better the next day.

Quick Cauliflower Curry

1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil
1 onion, chopped
1 inch ginger root, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 stalks celery, chopped
2-3 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 head orange or any cauliflower, cut in florets
4 cups chopped Black Magic or your favorite kale
2 cups or 1-15 ounce can cooked chickpeas, drained
1-2 cups coconut milk (optional)

In a deep pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic, sprinkle with salt and cook to the fragrance point. Add celery and spices and cook for 1 minute. Add sweet potato, reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered, until barely tender (12-15 minutes). Add cauliflower and kale and cook until barely tender/wilted (3-5 minutes). Add chickpeas and coconut milk if using, heat through and serve. Serve hot over rice or as is. Serves 4.

Crispy Fritters

I never deep fry anything, but in Italy, I learned that when you cook things quickly in just-hot-enough oil, they emerge crisp and light and not at all greasy. When a drop of batter sizzles when it hits the oil, the temperature is right. If it just sits there, the oil’s too cold, and if it smokes and starts to burn right away, hello, too hot.

Cauliflower Cheddar Fritters

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk OR plain almond milk
1 cup wholewheat pastry flour
OR brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon stemmed, chopped thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (or any)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons avocado or safflower oil

Steam cauliflower florets for 3 minutes, plunge into cold water until cool, and drain well. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk, then stir in dry ingredients and blend well. Add thyme, pepper, cheese, green onions and cauliflower and stir to coat. Put oil in a wide, shallow pan over medium high heat. When hot, drop in tablespoonfuls of mixture and press gently to flatten a bit. Cook until brown and crisp (2-3 minutes), turn and cook other side. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Savory Pancakes

These light little cakes are dreamy as is but to add variety, you can top them with all sorts of things, from plain Greek yogurt mixed with capers to fresh mint or parsley, or asiago cheese, or finely chopped apple, or chutney…

Crispy Cauliflower Pancakes With Lemon Butter

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 organic lemon, juiced, rind grated
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons wholewheat pastry flour
OR brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
2-3 tablespoons avocado or safflower oil

Steam cauliflower for 5 minutes, then mash lightly. Mash butter with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice and salt to taste, set aside. Add eggs, onion, garlic, flour, baking powder, lemon rind and remaining salt to cauliflower with half the paprika. In a wide, shallow pan, heat oil (start with 1 tablespoon) over medium high heat and drop in cauliflower mixture 1/4 cup at a time, flattening the blobs into cakes. Cook until browned and crisp (3-4 minutes), flip and cook second side (3-4 minutes). Keep cakes warm until all are made (add oil as needed), then serve with lemon butter and a dusting of paprika. Serves 4.

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2 Responses to The Lighter Side Of Cauliflower

  1. Jane Strong says:

    Made a half batch of Savory Pancakes for lunch just now. Much better than expected. The lemon butter was an inspiration

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