A classic winter staple, cauliflower is a hardy, healthy, low-calorie vegetable of the cabbage family (Brassica oleracea).
With its mild taste and versatility—easily steamed, boiled, roasted, or fried—it can be transformed into all sorts of dishes. It’s also a huge help for those following a gluten-free or paleo diet, and today, it has become increasingly popular as a lower-carb alternative to rice, potatoes, pizza crust, and pasta in many baked dishes.
Simply put, cauliflower is a workhorse in the kitchen. Have you tried cauliflower risotto? You must. Or whole cauliflower sliced into steaks and roasted with a drizzle of pesto? Amazing. How about a medley of different colored florets, steamed and served with Champagne sauce? Fabulous.
At the grocery store, look for heads of cauliflower that are unblemished with no soft spots. They are normally sold wrapped in plastic or already cut into florets. At the farmers market, choose smaller ones without blemishes.
The three recipes I am sharing today are totally different ways to use this winter vegetable. They are unique in that the mild flavor of the cauliflower is not hidden, but rather enhanced, with the simple addition of olive oil, a touch of cream, a handful of cheese … and a little kitchen magic!
Victoria de la Maza is an award-winning cookbook author, columnist, and international TV host. Passionate about great food, she combines American traditions with her European heritage to create classic-with-a-twist recipes and ideas for stylish entertaining at home.