This. Just be aware - not that you wouldn’t be - that cauliflowers vary in size. The first time I made this, I ended up having to almost double everything but the cauliflower.
In this house, nothing better than cauliflower cheese. It works as a veggie main course or accompaniment to roast beef.
Or aloo gobi - the Punjabi cauli & potato curry
Or as a puree to be topped by a slice of black pudding and a lightly griddled scallop. Now almost such a ubiquitous restaurant starter here in the UK that it’s become a home dish as well.
I LOVE cauliflower (but I have a lot of what some people consider to be weird food preferences) and I finally got around to trying cauliflower rice. While I appreciate that it is lo carb and a much better alternative for those who don’t want rice, I was disappointed with using it as a sub for plain rice. I was eating this Chinese style, and pairing the plain “rice” with other protein dishes to accompany it. I don’t think that works as well, given that the steamed cauliflower had a softer consistency than I want, and it was rather bland when just steamed.
However, I think the same rice used as a sub to be stir-fried or cooked with other veggies and spices should be fantastic. I can definitely see it used in a variation of fried rice or as a base for Thai curries. I never picked up a second bag, but want to give that a try.
I’ve also had cauliflower incorporated into wraps and stuff, and they are good. I miss the slightly sweet and nutty taste of the cauliflower itself though when cooked as a standalone.
Correct, when I use it as a fried rice it’s usually with other vegetables and a protein like chicken as a stir fry, I love it!!!
I’ve made this cauliflower with squid last month, it was really good.
I adore cauliflower. One of my top 3.
It’s addictive roasted - I can eat a whole head that way if I let myself. Vary the seasonings - plain s&p, or indian spices, or smoked paprika, or garlic and thyme, or whatever appeals.
Soup (puree) is another go-to — aromatics, stems and florets, seasoning profile of choice, optional creamy agent (milk, coconut milk, cashews) and puree. This always makes more than I think it will, and is somehow more filling.
If you similarly cook the cauliflower without any liquid and skip or minimize the creamy additions, this makes a great sub for mashed potatoes too. Good with steak, fish, scallops. You can cut in half a potato if the pure cauliflower flavor is too strong for you.
Love cauliflower cheese (gratin).
And any which way indian style.
Oh - tempura cauliflower is good, and works well with sauces that work with chicken wings (I’ve tried buffalo, soy-ginger, and korean bbq/gochujang).
I’ve not enjoyed cauliflower rice much, though. Store ones use mostly stems and I can taste it. Every so often I’ll mix some in with actual rice to add bulk and a veg for fried rice, though. Iirc I also mixed it with bulgur and/or lentils for vegetarian stuffed peppers.
Mrs H reminds me that we also enjoy a cauliflower and pea curry. The recipe was in the cookbook from a Gujarati vegetarian restaurant about an hours drive from home. Just a little clingy sauce.
Whenever I come across a food discussion about food moving across borders, I always think of cauliflower which was introduced to India by the British and has since been exported in the form of lovely dishes like this. Could say the same for the potato, introduced by Portuguese colonists.
Turmeric Cauliflower Pickles are nice. For 1 quart (or 2 pints), mix 1 cup white vinegar, 2 cups water, 1 tsp ground turmeric, 2 T kosher salt, 1 T black peppercorns and bring to a boil. Simmer a couple minutes. Slice a shallot or two and add to your jar(s). Cut up cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Stir the cauliflorets into the hot brine and put into your jar. Let cool on the counter before refrigerating. These are good in a day and better in a few days. They brighten up nearly anything you are serving.
In the UK, piccalilli is a mixed veg (mainly cauliflower) pickle that uses turmeric and mustard powder for colour and flavouring. I made it once. Mrs H was candid enough to say she preferred the shop bought to my effort, so we’ve stuck to that since.
Piccalilli often appears on bistro menus, as an accompaniment to ham hock terrine and similar piggy things.
Yes, I often think about food across borders and how once-foreign things become so integral to cultures - tomatoes to Italy, tea to England, chillies to India, potatoes to… everywhere!
There are some interesting books on food habits and aspirations driving war and colonialism.
Then there are the many interesting post-war and post-colonial paths of food too.
Food is always interesting
I use cauliflower rice often as a substitute in all kinds of rice dishes. Try baking it in the oven on a sheet pan, it turns out nice and crispy. I also make cauliflower grits. I nuke florets for a few minutes, add frozen or fresh corn and nuke for another minute. Then puree with the stick blender, add cheese and butter, a splash of cream if needed.
Can you tell me more about baking it? Do you buy frozen pre-riced cauliflower or are you using fresh? Recipe of sorts would be appreciated!
I always use fresh. I should have said roasted, not baked.
And the tomato which came to Italy in the 1600s.
My favorite way to eat cauliflower is to steam it, then puree the heck out of it with a big spoonful each of cream cheese, sour cream, grated Parmesan, and a good crack of black pepper. Maybe some garlic.
I love it roasted till it’s black and crispy around the edges. I love it steamed till it’s almost soft, and buttered within a inch of its life.
I love cauliflower enough that I don’t pretend it’s something else that happens to be the same color.
I’m not as crazy about cauliflower as you but your recipe with the sour cream and cream cheese is how I make it as a mashed potato substitute.
So many great cauliflower recipes and ideas, I guess you can say I’ll be; Cauliflower Dreamin…
As a side note I made my cauliflower ziti again except this time I cut the ricotta and used a ricotta & greek yogurt combination. Couldn’t really tell at all.
Apparently you can mash it into potatoes and some folks can’t tell the difference
We love roasted curried cauliflower as a sub for baked potatoes with steaks. Break or cut fresh cauliflower into florets, toss with olive oil and a liberal amount of Madras curry powder. Bake at 375F until you can stick a fork through it. I stir it once. Takes about 1/2 hour.
Have a glass of wine while you doing and make it such a vintners day.