Monday, May 26, 2008

Cauliflower Week

Much like the photo from mushroom week, this one is more a tribute to the fascinating world of vegetable diversity then, say, something I actually ate. This is actually a fractalish cauliflower, where as the kind I ate were the somewhat less mesmerizing non-fractalish kind. Still, vegetablesarefriends is nothing if not a showcase for our leafy comrades at their most beautiful.

I was a little surprised when talking to people about cauliflower to find a certain degree of anathema for them. On more than one occasion, friends told me they absolutely can't stand the stuff. Where does this latent hatred come from? After actually trying cauliflower, I can't really figure it out. It doesn't seem to have a strong enough taste to really cause a big reaction. In fact, it reminds me of a less obtrusive broccoli, and broccoli seems to receive a much less virulent reception. The only thing I can think of must be an aversion to the texture--it can be almost gritty at times, and really who wants to eat something that offers the sensation that it should be washed again and not stored in a sand box.

I tried it roasted and steamed with cheese sauce and always ran into this texture problem. It wasn't completely off putting, but I never found myself eagerly reaching for a second serving. The cheese sauce did help the most though, as cheese sauce often will. Also, when I had it roasted, I dipped it in a blend of blue cheese, sour cream, and some kind of Greek cheese, and that made it a little better. I hate to say what I'm about to, as I feel I'm like a broken record, but the obvious solution to the texture problem is to turn to souping.

I used my mother's recipe which is essentially the same as for the curry carrot soup you may remember from carrot week. For a refresher, you saute some onions with butter in a pan. When those are cooked you add a head of chopped cauliflower and cover with chicken broth (or vegetable broth). Cook until the cauliflower is soft and add curry paste. Then you pop it in a blender until you get a delicious soup without any grittiness! Easiest way to eat cauliflower, that I found.

I also made some Indian food with tomatoes and cauliflower that turned out nicely. I'll just add the link to the recipe because it came off a blog which deserves credit and because I'm too lazy to write it out: http://indiacuisine.blogspot.com/2006/01/arf-5-cauliflower-tomato-curry.html.
I haven't looked at too much one the site, but it seems to have some good stuff! I wanted to make an aloo gobi, but apparently that is traditionally a combination of cauliflower and potatoes. Those of you who know me, know that I hate potatoes above most things. It seemed a little early to cure that one, so I opted for a less dry curry. Interestingly, cauliflower is apparently often used as a substitute for potatoes in low-carb diets because it has a similar consistency (a gross one) but without the starch. In fact (and this is why I'm telling you this), according to Wikipedia, cauliflower is used to produce a potato substitute known as fauxtato. Isn't that great? I could scarce think of a more enchanting name for a fake spud.

On that note, the end of cauliflower week. Thanks for reading and have a happy Memorial Day!

Next week: eggplant!

4 comments:

Susan Thompson said...

It's been ages since I cooked eggplant. As I recall, it absorbs a lot of oil, which I guess is okay nowadays if you use olive oil.

Cody said...

Though I have no delusions that it will provide an enjoyable meal, you simply must try one of those eggplant veggie burgers abominations. If nothing else, you'll get a good paragraph added to your writeup. Think of your readership!

fafner said...

Susan-- right you are! They seem like little oil sponges. Luckily, I do have a thing for olive oil.

Susan Thompson said...

I wish I had a thing for olive oil. I don't care for the taste of olive oil so I use the light variety. I don't even have to do any research on the subject to know that the light kind probably isn't as healthy as the bad-tasting kind.