Cauliflower is the New Kale
Now is the perfect time to learn a few cool new recipes featuring the super trendy “white food” that is adored by both nutritionists and chefs alike.
While I somehow missed the memo earlier this year notifying us all that kale was out and cauliflower was in, I am happy to hop on the cauliflower band wagon…even if I am just a tad bit late. One thing is for sure, everyone on the wagon seems to be thinking very creatively!
Oh sure, I had certainly heard about interesting vegetable side dishes starring cauliflower in the past; mashed cauliflower and cauliflower “rice” (which is basically grated cauliflower that can then be stir-fried just like rice) both come to mind.
But I truly didn’t realize just how popular my beloved big white cruciferous vegetable had become until just recently when I was eating dinner with my husband and son at one of the newest restaurants in Palm Beach, The Meat Market. Featured on the Meat Market Menu menu right alongside the more common vegetable side dishes—you know, the ones like grilled asparagus and creamed spinach— was a cauliflower dish I had never heard of: Whole Roasted Cauliflower (made with lemon, parsley, capers, parmesan and extra virgin olive oil).
The cauliflower dish was actually offered as an appetizer rather than one of the standard vegetable side dishes. And yes, of course we ordered one for the table. It was so incredibly good that I have surprised even myself that I have managed to go this long without trying to recreate the dish at home. I am sure I will get to it one of these days (hopefully sooner rather than later) and of course I will share with all of you. But in the meantime, I wanted to show you how to make two delicious vegetable side dishes featuring—you guessed it!—cauliflower.
Easy Weekday Vegetable Side Dishes with Cauliflower
Since both of the cauliflower vegetable side dishes featured below are quick, easy and tasty, the only thing you’ll be missing is an excuse to not eat your vegetables (wink).Print
Mashed Cauliflower with Carrots, Garlic & Thyme
- Yield: 4 1x
- 1 small head cauliflower (cut off florets and discard core)
- 4 carrots (cut into 3-inch pieces)
- 7 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- Fresh thyme (for garnish)
- Put about 1-inch of water in the bottom of a pot. Add a steamer basket, cover and bring water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, place the cauliflower, carrots and garlic in the steamer basket—up to a double layer will steam well—cover, and steam for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are fork-tender. Remove the steamer basket and set vegetables aside to cool.
- Add the steamed garlic cloves, lemon juice, olive oil, pine nuts, water and salt to a high-speed blender (I especially like Vitamix ) and process until smooth and creamy.
- Transfer the garlic-lemon-pine nut mixture from the blender container to a food processor. Add the steamed cauliflower and carrots; process until smooth and creamy. Season well with salt. Garnish with fresh thyme. Serve warm.
Mashed Cauliflower with Beets, Coconut & Red Curry
- Yield: 4 1x
- 2 Large beet bulbs (stems removed)
- 1 head of cauliflower (cut into small chunks)
- 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin coconut oil (such as Barleans )
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoons red curry paste (such as Thai Kitchen brand)
- Unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the beet bulbs in foil and place them directly on the oven rack. Roast the beets for about 50 minutes, or until fork tender.
- While the beets are roasting, put about 1-inch of water in the bottom of a pot. Add a steamer basket, cover and bring water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, place the cauliflower in the steamer basket—up to a double layer will steam well—cover, and steam for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is are fork-tender. Remove the steamer basket and set cauliflower aside to cool.
- Once the beets are roasted, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool. Slip the skins off the beets, coarsely chop and transfer to the bowl of a large food processor. Add the steamed cauliflower to the food processor.
- To the food processor with the roasted beets and steamed cauliflower, add the coconut oil, coconut milk, lime juice, red curry paste and salt to taste. Process until smooth and creamy. Serve warm.