Jun 22, 2017

Flower Food

Move over kale—cauliflower is the new darling of restaurants and foodies! Just as Brussel sprouts have had their day in the sun; cauliflower is now popping up on menus and food blogs. It’s being served raw, roasted, or Chinese stir-fried. It’s been used as a substitute for potatoes and other starches, replacing the dough in dishes like pizza.

Cauliflower is extremely low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. It has a high content of vitamin C and moderate levels of several B vitamins and vitamin K. It is also high in phytonutrients but these are compromised by boiling. Stir frying or roasting cauliflower is the way to go.

For the crust:

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets or 16 ounces frozen, defrosted

1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 large egg 

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup pizza sauce, recipe follows

For the pizza sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed 

1 medium onion, finely chopped

Three 15-ounce cans crushed tomatoes 

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar 

1 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes

Kosher salt

For the pizza: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor to a fine snowy powder (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Transfer to a steamer and cook 3-4 minutes.  Remove and place on a dry kitchen towel and allow to cool.

When cool enough to handle, wrap the cauliflower in the towel and wring out as much moisture as possible. In a large bowl, stir together the cauliflower, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, egg and 1 cup of the mozzarella until well combined. Transfer to the lined baking pan and form into a 10-inch circle. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

Prepare the sauce: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and onions and stir. Cook until the onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the brown sugar, crushed pepper flakes and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool and puree the sauce using an immersion blender.

Remove the crust from the oven and spread the sauce and remaining mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 10 minutes more.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin

2 medium onions, finely sliced
kosher salt

12 oz cauliflower, thawed if using frozen, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 garlic clove, crushed

2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 green jalapeno, seeds removed, diced
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the cumin and onions, along with a few pinches of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions caramelize and turn lightly golden, about 7-10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, garlic, and half of the ginger. Continue to cook for another minute. Add the cauliflower and stir well. Cover the pan and cook the cauliflower over low-medium heat for 3 minutes, until just tender.

When the cauliflower is nearly cooked, remove the lid, turn up the flame, and stir in the jalapenos and remaining ginger. Salt to taste, sprinkle with basil and serve.

3 cups cauliflower florets

2 teaspoons canola oil 

2 cloves garlic, minced 

2 tablespoons soy sauce 

Juice of 1 lime

2 scallions, sliced 

1 tablespoon Sriracha or other hot sauce

Break the cauliflower into very small florets.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Add the oil, then the cauliflower and garlic. Stir the cauliflower around in the pan, allowing it to get very brown in some areas. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn down the heat.

Add the soy sauce, lime juice and scallions. Stir for 1 minute, then add the hot sauce and stir until incorporated. Serve with lime wedges.

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