Making cauliflower more than a side dish: 3 delicious recipes


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Poor cauliflower, so underrated and unfairly relegated to side dish status, falsely accused of being bland, boring and banal. But cauliflower’s understated flavor lends itself to combining quite well with other ingredients. Take it out of the side-dish-lines and make it the star of its own entree. Take a look at these three recipes, which are sure to win over your taste buds.


Roasted cauliflower pasta

Roast 3 cups of cauliflower florets in no more than 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Chop up two shallots or a small white onion — half if it’s large and you’re not keen on onions — and two garlic cloves. Throw in some sundried tomatoes, and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in with your favorite pasta and crumble some feta over it, letting it melt slightly before removing from heat and serving.

You can even steam some chopped spinach and add it before you add the feta. One recipe even suggests poaching an egg and throwing it on top of the finished dish. My mom used to top off Colombian rice and beans with a fried egg when I was little, rendering me a fan for life. But I’ve never tried it with pasta until now. I may be be biased, therefore, when I say: Nom!


Cauliflower and cheese

Want to avoid the pasta altogether, but in the mood for some homemade comfort food? Move over, shells and elbow macaroni. Grate 2 cups of the cheese of your choice. I went with Double Gloucester the last time I made this because it’s sharp and packed with flavor. Melt the cheese and thicken with 2 tablespoons of flour if you prefer a thicker sauce. One will do if you prefer thinner sauce.

I steamed my cauliflower florets and then just mixed with the cheese sauce when I was ready to serve. It can be popped in the oven, like mac and cheese, but without the extra calories that the pasta gives you. After you mix the cauliflower in the cheese sauce, put in an oven-safe dish, grate some more cheese on top and pop it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is browned.


Cauliflower pancakes

Photo: AGoodAppetite.blogspot.com

You heard me correctly. I found a recipe and made some changes to appease my dining companion. I took one head of cauliflower, cut it up into florets and steamed them until I could pierce them easily with my fork. Then I mashed them up and added 1/2 cup of grated Double Gloucester cheese, 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, 2 large eggs, salt and pepper to taste.

Form the mixture into pancake patties and cook them for no more than three minutes on either side on griddle or pan. You can do this in a bit of olive oil, use cooking spray or lightly coat with unsalted butter. The recipe yields eight pancakes and at least one “wow!”