Other than the potato, can you think of a vegetable more versatile than cauliflower? I actually thought this through for a minute and couldn’t come up with anything close, except perhaps for winter squash.
It can be prepared in so many different ways and used in countless cuisines around the world. Raw cauliflower florets are tasty when used as a dipper, and you can roast, steam, boil or stir-fry the florets to tender perfection. Of these methods I personally enjoy roasted cauliflower the most because of the browning factor. So delicious!
Cooked cauliflower can also be served mashed in place of potatoes, blended with liquids and seasonings to form a creamy soup, added to curries and pasta dishes, or combined with hot broth to make a creamy sauce for pasta and casseroles. For this reason it’s a favourite among vegetarians and vegans, those who are lactose intolerant, and anyone looking to eat a bit lighter.
Pulse raw cauliflower in a food processor for a few seconds and it turns into tiny pieces similar to rice, making it a great low-carb alternative for fried rice dishes, pilafs, risotto and more. Cauliflower is also great in pickled form (such as in Italian giardiniera), slathered in Buffalo sauce and served with blue cheese dip in lieu of chicken wings, or even served as “steaks” with a saucy topper.
If that isn’t enough, you can even find purple, yellow and green cauliflower at the grocery store. Am I forgetting anything?
This whole roasted cauliflower recipe is one of the more unconventional ways to cook cauliflower, but it’s really easy and results in a pretty impressive looking dish. You just need to make a spice rub, similar to what you’d use for meat (like this spice-rubbed turkey), smear it all over the cauliflower and roast it whole for 45 minutes to an hour.
Cauliflower isn’t a protein replacement per se, but it does have a meaty texture so it works as a sort of vegetarian roast. Serve it as is with a simple side salad, or enjoy a wedge or two as a side dish alongside meat, poultry, fish, legumes or tofu for a more balanced meal.
Are you a fan of cauliflower? What’s your favourite way to cook it?
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 375F. Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and slice off the bottom 1/2 inch of the stalk so that the cauliflower can sit upright. In a small bowl combine the olive oil and spices. Rub all over cauliflower and transfer to a roasting pan, baking sheet or Dutch oven. Roast for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown and fork-tender.