Monday, April 2, 2012

Cauliflower Revelations

When considering vegetables, cauliflower didn't used to be near the top of my list of favorites. It hovered in the rather bland and unexciting catagory along with cabbage and turnips. Over the past couple of years since I've learned to roast it rather than steam it and more recently, to puree it, it has been promoted. My husband commented that I seem to be really INTO cauliflower lately. Well, I have been trying to perfect a blended cauliflower soup recipe so I've been making it a lot. It is also great pureed as a substitute for mashed potatoes  I blogged about roasting it awhile back and will repeat the method for doing so here: 

Method: Slice cauliflower into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick "steaks" and pieces. Place in a single layer on oiled baking sheet, brush with your favorite oil, sprinkle with your favorite salt and pepper and roast at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes till nicely browned on the side touching the pan. Seriously, if you are just lukewarm to cauli, this will change your opinion. I can enthusiastically eat an entire small head of cauliflower prepared this way (in one sitting).

So, coincidentally, as I was busy experimenting with cauliflower soups I saw a recipe for one in the winter edible Reno-Tahoe foodie magazine. I really like this magazine. It comes out quarterly and celebrates the local food culture of an area. I especially appreciate the non-glossy, thick paper the magazine is printed on. There are numerous "edible" magazines that publish all over the country. Perhaps there is one representing your "foodshed" below:
Edible Allegheny
Edible Aspen
Edible Austin
Edible Boston
Edible Brooklyn
Edible Blue Ridge
Edible Buffalo
Edible Cape Cod
Edible Chicago
Edible Cleveland
Edible Columbus
Edible East Bay
Edible Dallas & Fort Worth
Edible DC
Edible East End
Edible Finger Lakes
Edible Front Range
Edible Grande Traverse
Edible Green Mountains
Edible Hawaiian Islands
Edible Hudson Valley
Edible Iowa River Valley
Edible Indy
Edible Jersey
Edible Louisville
Edible Madison
Edible Manhattan
Edible Marin & Wine Country
Edible Memphis
Edible Michiana
Edible Monterey Bay
Edible New Orleans
Edible Nutmeg
Edible Ohio Valley
Edible Ojai
Edible Omaha
Edible Orange County
Edible Orlando
Edible Philly
Edible Phoenix
Edible Piedmont
Edible Portland
Edible Queens
Edible Reno-Tahoe
Edible Rhody
Edible Sacramento
Edible San Diego
Edible San Francisco
Edible San Juan Mountains
Edible Santa Barbara
Edible Santa Fe
Edible Sarasota
Edible Seattle
Edible Shasta-Butte
Edible Sonoran Desert
Edible South Florida
Edible South Shore
Edible Toronto
Edible Twin Cities
Edible Upcountry
Edible Vancouver
Edible Vineyard
Edible Wasatch
Edible Westside
Edible WOW

My adaptation of the cauliflower soup recipe which was courtesy of Jack Rabbit Moon restaurant of Incline Village, NV, was the most flavorful yet. I will share it here:

Creamy Cauliflower Soup With Gruyere and Pesto Croutons

1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion chopped or sliced
1 t. salt
4 garlic cloves chopped or minced
pinch of thyme
1 cup dry white wine
1 large or 2 small heads of cauliflower broken in pieces
1/2+ cup grated gruyere or any type of Swiss cheese
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cup whipping cream or half and half

Saute onions, garlic, and salt for 5 minutes over medium heat. Deglaze with white wine and cook until nearly evaporated. Add broth, cream, and cauliflower and simmer until tender (approx. 25 minutes). Cool slightly and then puree in blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and stir the grated cheese into the still nearly hot soup. I like to save a little cheese to sprinkle on top.

For the croutons: Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Cut whatever kind of bread you have into cubes and saute, stirring over medium heat until crispy. 

Serve soup with croutons as they are or tossed in pesto for an extra burst of flavor. You can drizzle olive oil and/or cheese and sprinkle chopped fresh herbs if you like (basil, parsley, chives...).
Who knew cauliflower could taste this good?


  1. Your dishes always look like the presentation of a fine restaurant. Can't wait to try this.