What Cauliflower Does Best

whole cauliflower
via Birdland Organic Seeds

I see you there, holding that head of cauliflower in the produce section.

You’ve read some amazing stuff about cauliflower. I know, because I’ve read it, too. How you can turn it into pizza crust and a nifty substitute for rice and ersatz mashed potatoes.

And maybe you’re thinking, that’s all very… interesting. But why do we want rice made out of cauliflower?

I mean, can’t we just make rice?

Yes, we can.

But consider that cauliflower adaptations are one of the joys of playing around with your veggies.

Cauliflower pizza crusts may be a little fragile, but they’re a crispy good sub-in for a traditional flour & yeast crust, and tastier (in my opinion) than a flour-based gluten-free crust.

Cauliflower mash? Light and lovely. Cauliflower rice? Sure. We’ve served it at the café.

chickpea patty with cauli rice

As a stand-in for rice, it’s pleasingly pebbly and neutral in flavor. It makes a nice bed for other veggies or a stew, or rolled up inside a burrito.

Plus: nutrition. The brassicas have superpowers.

You pay for that superpower, of course. Potatoes, flour and rice are inexpensive. Cauliflower is a little pricier. Rice, moreover, will give you three cups cooked for every cup of raw, while a cup of raw “riced” cauliflower will reduce to about half a cup after cooking.

So there’s that.

Still, if you want to bump the nutritional profile of your favorite carb-y sides, or you just want to experiment a bit, try one of the recipes up top. Tell me what you think.

For everyone else, now that the autumn is here, we can turn our ovens up to 400° and let cauliflower do what it does best: bask in the crazy heat and become fabulous.

roasted cauliflower in bowl
via chowhound

Roasted cauliflower, friends. It’s simple. Prep is minimal. You lose the least amount of volume, so it’s kind to your budget. And it tastes so good.

Plus, no recipe needed. Just break a head of cauliflower it into small florets. Maybe as big as your thumb. Put the florets in a big bowl. Pour a some decent olive oil over it, like you would if you were dressing a salad. Toss in some salt and pepper. Use cracked pepper if you’re feeling fancy.

Dump it all onto a sheet pan and roast it uncovered at 400° for 30 minutes until it gets nicely browned.

Then just eat it up.

If there is any left over (not likely) you can chop it up and make fritters. Or dip it into cornmeal and give it a quick pan-fry for a cauliflower po’boy sandwich.

Or you can mash it into ersatz mashed potatoes. Seriously. I won’t judge.

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