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Food trends: cauliflower

cauliflowerCauliflower has long been the red-headed step child of the vegetable family. It gained popularity with the advent of low-carb diets that used cauliflower as a stand-in for mashed potatoes. It’s now being used to make other low-carb dishes including pizza crust, hash browns and even popcorn.

As we move into 2013, we may see even more of a cauliflower presence on restaurant menus. I’ve seen it in many spots recently, often in soup form. One Midtown Kitchen serves a cauliflower soup with chorizo oil, bits of garlicky broccolini and brown butter pine nuts. At One Eared Stag, the soup is made with fenugreek and raisin chutney while JCT.Kitchen prepares its roasted cauliflower soup with garlic chips and herb olive oil.

Home cooks are also using the vegetable, frequently roasting whole heads of cauliflower salted and drizzled with olive oil. One of my family members makes it this way served with a side of goat cheese. I’ve prepared a similar version, tucking whole heads of garlic and sun-dried tomatoes into the cauliflower before roasting.

Have you seen cauliflower popping up on Atlanta menus? What’s your favorite preparation?

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

18 comments Add your comment

Edward

January 16th, 2013
10:28 am

A cauliflower and parsnip mash can be great if seasoned well and is appropriately prepared so it isn’t grainy.

I guess cauliflower is this years kale? It seems a veggie gets the limelight for a period, all the trendy people and places flock to it for a while until they move on to the next trend. I just eat what I like, I couldn’t care less about whether it is popular.

Becca

January 16th, 2013
10:35 am

This wasn’t in Atlanta, but at the Standard hotel in Manhattan, I tried a cauliflower Reuben sandwich. They actually used cauliflower in place of the meat. I left an event to get back to other half of it. I’d love to see someone attempt something similar here…

stephieZ

January 16th, 2013
11:09 am

I think it’s become popular due to so many good chefs now focusing on it. I hated cauliflower up until about 2 years ago or so when I had Holy Tacos cauliflower, dates, and olives dish (the best ever). Before that I had only ever eaten steamed or boiled cauliflower which is pure crap. Once I had Holy Tacos rendition it made me realize there was more to the blandish veggie and I started hunting up interesting recipes. I now make some type of cauliflower dish once a week. I think most people I talk to are in the same boat and think the same way I do. They have to experience a good cauliflower dish for themselves to realize that it can be much better than a typical mom side dish.

bc

January 16th, 2013
11:17 am

I think it was about 10 years ago when I was eating at Citronelle in DC and the amuse bouche the chef served was an uncapped eggshell filled with caviar and topped with a cauliflower mousse. Hands down the most incredible thing I’ve ever eaten.

FoodFan

January 16th, 2013
11:27 am

Roasted Cauliflower tossed with grainy mustard, olive oil, and Indian spices is a personal fave.

RK

January 16th, 2013
11:27 am

Roasted, then pureed with good aged gouda is a perfect pairing.

Mark

January 16th, 2013
11:38 am

Back in the day at the Country Place in Colony Square they served a whole cooked head of cauliflower appetizer for 2 that was covered with a mustard sauce and then covered with melted cheddar. Yummm!

At our house we have it routinely just steamed.

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January 16th, 2013
11:54 am

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Sally

January 16th, 2013
11:58 am

Cut it up. Cover with lemon pepper. Roast. Very good.

Mary

January 16th, 2013
12:47 pm

Buffalo Cauliflower at Rainbow Grocery if you like things spicy. It’s on their hot bar from time to time.

Jen

January 16th, 2013
1:57 pm

I do cauliflower “steaks” about 3/4 inch thick and tossed with olive oil, S&P, and crushed rosemary. Quick pan roast to brown the flat sides then stick in the oven to finish roasting. Delicious.

NancyB

January 16th, 2013
2:23 pm

Roast a head of cauliflower and a small onion, dump into a soup pot and add chicken stock, puree until perfectly smooth. Add salt to taste. It makes a lovely, lovely soup. Replace the chicken stock with veggie stock or water to go vegan.

Plain cauliflower soup is good too, just not up to the roasted version: cook your cauliflower in stock or water until very soft, puree, and season. Both of these look like a thickened cream soup, but there’s no roux or cream needed.

Positive Polly

January 16th, 2013
2:44 pm

Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper. Roast 15-20 minutes. Toss in balsamic vinegar and grated Parmesan. Roast another 10 minutes. Yumm…

Jo Daddy's Golf Course

January 16th, 2013
5:05 pm

Cauliflower pulled apart in large pieces (not cut). Tossed with sesame oil, garlic (powder or fresh grated), salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, smoked paprika and seasoned bread crumbs. Cook 400 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes – it’s delicious!

Dave

January 16th, 2013
5:51 pm

Steam some florets. Make a rue, add some milk and spices of your choice. Not fancy but it is good. The roast thing sounds good too.

Tom

January 16th, 2013
6:27 pm

I do it Middle Eastern style by cutting the head into florets then deep frying those in olive oil until dry. Drain them on a paper towel, and top with a sauce of sesame seed paste, garlic, lemon juice, fresh mint leaves, salt, and a piece of fresh habanero pepper. This is eaten with Pita bread. Habanero is not used in the Middle east but is a touch added by migrants from the Middle East who settled in the Caribbean.

Tired

January 16th, 2013
7:59 pm

I’ve never understood why it’s such an unloved vegetable. Run cauliflower over a grater and make tabouli without the wheat berries – delicious!

Kar

January 16th, 2013
11:01 pm

So cauliflower is the new kale that was the new brussel sproouts which were the new….

Serious question though, how do you serve it? Selective half stabs beforehand or is it soft enough to use a serving spoon at the table?