Califlower Do's and Don'ts

So lately cauliflower has become the unsung hero of the vegetable draw. People boast of turning it into buffalo "wings," pizza crust, chinese food, mashed "potatoes"...you name it. So I had to get in on this action. I started trying out the recipes you've wondered about, and I'm here to tell you if they're legit or not.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust (Legit) - You can tell it's not the pillowy dough we all love, but it still have amazing flavor. If you do it correctly it hold together very well. You can load it with all the toppings you want. You get all the taste with no guilt. I call that a win-win. Now binge eating pizza every day of the weekend isn't cause for pause.

Mashed Cauliflower (Not Legit) - It just can't take the place of creamy, buttery mashed potatoes. Sorry. But good luck trying. I get it, cauliflower is like potatoes long lost less starchy cousin. I tried this without the recipe because I usually don't need a recipe for mashed potatoes, little butter, cream, and salt and there you have it. So I started by boiling the cauliflower, I drained it. One thing I might change if I tried this recipe again is trying to get more water out. I mean really get it as dry as I can. Cauliflower is made up of a lot of water, then boiling it in water. It's a watery mess which is my biggest reason for giving it a thumbs down. So if you try it I suggest use a cheese cloth or towel to really ring out the water. Next, the good stuff for a head of cauliflower I would use 2 tablespoons of butter (hey, it's cauliflower! lol). Followed by about 1/4 cup of cream, blending until smooth and salt to taste.

Buffalo Cauliflower (Meh.) - This one you'll have to decide once you taste it. It was a hit at a dinner when I made it, so I didn't wipe it off the list completely. But I'll need to tweak the recipe before I serve it again. First, I made a simple batter and baked cauliflower. I would skip this step all together. The cauliflower just doesn't need the batter to me. I would just roast the cauliflower and add buffalo sauce, then bake for about 10 more mins. Which would just make it meh again at best, in my tastebud's humble opinion.

General Tso's Cauliflower (Legit) - I tried the recipe for General Tso's cauliflower from Pinch of Yum, and was so pleasantly surprised. I can't wait to try it again. The cauliflower hold ups nicely to the sauce. It isn't overpowered by it, and frankly, you don't miss the (insert meat option) here. I liked her batter recipe,

I would add about 1/4 cup more water for consistency sake. 

Batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ⅔ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of water

You want something like a watery pancake batter. It should lightly cover cauliflower. Also fry cauliflower until well down. Cauliflower has a high water content so it takes some time to get it crispy. Drain on paper towel.

Note: 

Try not to eat all the cauliflower before sauce is ready.

Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (optional)

Saute garlic and ginger for about a minute. Add remainder of ingredients, turn on low. Sauce is ready when it begins to thicken, simmer on low about 5 to 7 minutes. Honey acts a thickener, adjust honey accordingly.  

Roasted Cauliflower (Legit) - Toss with olive oil and salt. Bake at 425 for 35 to 40 mins. Until cauliflower starts to crisp. Even with all the other recipes above, this is my favorite way to eat cauliflower. I literally can eat all of it by myself. My 8 month old was an immediate fan, I even my pickiest eaters to taste it, my husband and 2 year old.

(This is after I "tested" them to make sure they turned out ok)

My conclusion cauliflower is definitely an unsung hero. It's so unassuming, it really is a blank canvas waiting to be used. I do have a few more cauliflower recipes I want to try, so I'll be back. Until then go forth and eat!