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Posts tagged ‘cauliflower’

Cauliflower Home Fries

Fire up the skillet – it’s time for some home fries!

Cauliflower Home Fries

Cauliflower is often overshadowed by the similar-looking broccoli, but I’ve grown to love this little white vegetable. It has a crisp bite, a delicately sweet flavor, and is versatile when it comes to cooking. Plus, like many vegetables, it may help protect folks from cancer and is a great source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and omega-3’s. What’s not to love?

Another great thing about cauliflower is that it lends itself to many potato dishes, due to it’s white color and relatively neutral flavor. I love potatoes, but sometimes I want potato goodness without the heft and starch that often accompanies potato dishes. I’ve seen (and made) mashed cauliflower before with good results. So I thought, why not use cauliflower to make home fries?

To me, a good plate of home fries will have a great garlic flavor. I started by finely mincing two cloves of garlic, then stirring them into some olive oil and allowing the mixture to sit for a bit, letting the flavors meld. If you have a garlic press, use this tool; I have a plate that minces garlic in this manner. While the garlic and oil sat, I chopped my cauliflower. Rather than breaking off small florets, I took big chunks of cauliflower and sliced them horizontally, so that some pieces were more like home fry potato discs – not an exact replica, but you get the idea.

Sliced cauliflower coins next to a big cauliflower "potato"

From here it’s really easy. I placed both the oil and garlic into a skillet and heated it on medium. Once ready, I added the cauliflower, stirring it well with the oil to really get it coated, especially with the garlic. I then threw in some salt, cumin, black pepper, and cayenne. I cooked the cauliflower for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Cooking for a long while lets the spices soak in and softens the cauliflower, but it won’t get mushy or soggy during this length of time. Some pieces might burn a bit, but that’s okay! Personally I like my home fries crispy.

This is great for brunch or lunch, especially with a tofu scramble. Now, how can I convert cauliflower into hash browns?

Cauliflower Home Fries (Serves 1-2)

2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced

1 TB olive oil

2 cups cauliflower florets

Salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne, to taste

Stir the pressed garlic into the olive oil and allow to sit for awhile to let the flavors blend. Slice the cauliflower into horizontal coins.

Heat the oil and garlic in a skillet on medium. Add the cauliflower, and stir for a minute or two, covering the cauliflower with the oil and garlic. Add the spices, then cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

Welcome Back, Farmer’s Market!

Spring is almost over, and summer’s just around the corner. And in these parts, that means that the Farmer’s Market is back! *throws confetti*

Well, truth be told, the farmer’s market that I frequent is technically open year-round; but they spend the winter selling breads, cakes, tea, and pickles. While yummy, this doesn’t exactly constitute a well-balanced diet. So once the ground thaws and the plants start growing, I’m back at the Farmer’s Market faster than you can say “sweet potato.”

While sweet potatoes were not to be found at the market this week, I did find an amazing bounty. Anyone concerned that Farmer’s Markets won’t have everything you need produce-wise, look around. Today alone I purchased cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, spring onions, zucchini, yellow zucchini, kale, and miniature cucumbers. The market also had carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, potatoes, yellow onions, basil … you get my drift. It’s well-stocked.

Not only are these markets well-stocked, but the produce is fresh and looks amazing! For instance, I found a head of cauliflower that was bigger than my own noggin. Check it out:

Attack of the 50 Ft Cauliflower!

Speaking of colossal, check out these spring onions. I’m just gonna laugh at the ones they keep in the store now, shipped in all the way from California. Hey CA, keep your minis – VA’s got the big guns!

What I’m most intrigued by, though, are the yellow zucchini. I’ve never had this variety of zucchini before, and while I have an iffy relationship with summer squashes (they sometimes make me nauseous), I couldn’t resist their pretty yellow color and the following description: “buttery taste.” I’m looking forward to trying some new recipes with these guys, and of course sharing my results!

Don't confuse yellow zucchini with yellow squash!

In short, my first 2011 foray to the Farmer’s Market was a success, and I look forward to getting local produce again through Autumn. To fresh and local eating!

Winter Blend Saute with Ginger-Infused Olive Oil

Today’s magic ingredient – olive oil infused with ginger!

Ooh, ahh ...

In addition to yellow sun-dried tomatoes, I found this enticing little bottle at Eataly tucked within more varieties of olive oil than you can shake a stick at. It’s what the title claims – extra virgin olive oil infused with ginger oil. Simple, but intriguing enough for me to buy for future experiments. I’m dreaming of the pasta dishes, hummus spreads, and dipping plates I can make with this, but for now, I used it for a simple saute.

Sauteing is probably my favorite way to prepare veggies. I don’t like boiling them or roasting because I feel like this kills them too much, and aside from depleting the nutrients, taking away their vitality, blah blah blah, they just taste bad when you overcook them. I’ll only accept mushy vegetables if they’re called potatoes and they’ve been mashed (coming soon: perfect mashed cauliflower!). However, most health texts will say to steam your veggies instead, and while this sometimes works, I find them a little dull this way. Why not just eat them raw in this case? Enter the saute – cooks veggies to a perfect crisp without overcooking or frying. Voila!

One of my favorite dinners is basically to throw a ton of veggies and a protein into a skillet and go to town. Tonight I created a simple saute with the ginger olive oil, diced garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, seitan, and dashes of salt, pepper, and cayenne. Many times I’ll add soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos, as well as nutritional yeast; however, I wanted to go minimal this time to let the flavors stand out on their own. All were served over a bed of long grain brown basmati rice, though any grain will do, really.

But what about the ginger oil? I think it added a nice heat and flavor to the veggies especially. What I liked the most was that it added the punch of ginger without adding ginger chunks (which aren’t pleasant to bite down on) or using weak ginger powder. I would definitely use it again.

I call this a winter blend saute because I went to NC State University, where they regularly served a vegetable dish called Winter Blend that consisted of broccoli and cauliflower. However, bless their hearts, they boiled these perfect veggies into oblivion, which resulted in mushy blandness where crisp pleasure should’ve been. Enjoying them in a saute is much better, trust me.

Winter Blend Saute with Ginger-Infused Olive Oil

1 TB ginger olive oil (you can use regular oil if you like, just maybe add some chopped fresh ginger or ginger powder)

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup broccoli florets

1 cup cauliflower florets

1/4 to 1/3 cup seitan chunks, sliced thinly (tofu works too)

Sea salt, cracked black pepper, and cayenne, to taste

Heat the oil on medium, then add the garlic and saute for a minute or two until golden; be careful not to burn. Add the broccoli, cauliflower, and seitan, and saute for a few minutes, allowing the vegetables to darken in color. Add the seasonings and cook until vegetables are done and seitan is starting to brown. Serve over rice.