CAULIFLOWER

Brassica oleracea var. botrytis

Like broccoli, cauliflower is a mass of underdeveloped, edible flower buds.  Delicious raw as a crunchy snack or added to your ever-evolving fresh salad, or cooked into a soup, curry, or stir-fry, cauliflower is yet another welcomed brassica to our table!  Cauliflower has a good amount of protein, vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E, as well as a bunch of minerals.  Be careful when cooking because too much heat for too long will destroy much of the nutritional value of this wonderful vegetable.  Cauliflower is not a great keeper, so try to use yours as quickly as you can.  To keep it for a week or more put it in the fridge in a plastic bag but don’t be alarmed if it takes on a strong odor the longer you store it.  Just like broccoli, cauliflower has lots of hiding spots for field critters.  Just before using, soak your head of cauliflower upside down in cold salted water.

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Cauliflower Saffron Dill Risotto
From Farmer John’s Cookbook

5 cups light vegetable, chicken, or beef stock
1/2 tsp chopped saffron threads
3 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 lb cauliflower (about 1/2 head), finely chopped
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
salt
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill

In a large pot, heat the stock to just below a simmer.  Stir in the saffron.  Meanwhile, combine 2 tbsp. butter and the oil in a heavy pot.  Heat over medium-high heat until butter is melted.  Add the onion, continue cooking at same temperature until onion is slightly golden, about 10 minutes.  Set some water to heat in a tea kettle or saucepan in case you need it in the next steps.  Add the cauliflower to the onions in the pot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the rice and add salt to taste; cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is lightly brown, 3 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of the hot stock; cook stirring constantly, until all the stock is absorbed by the rice, 4 to 5 minutes.  Continue adding 1/2 cup of stock after each addition is fully absorbed.  This will take between 25 and 30 minutes total.  The rice should not be mushy and should have a little firmness in the center.  If you have run out of stock, and the rice is still not tender enough, continue with hot water.  Remove from heat and stir in the remaining butter, the Parmesan cheese, and the fresh dill.

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Cauliflower Pie
From From Asparagus to Zucchini

3 medium potatoes
2 tbsp minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 egg
4-6 ounces grated cheddar cheese

Boil potatoes 10 minutes; drain and cool.  Mash potatoes; mix in minced onion plus salt and pepper.  Press into buttered 9-inch pie pan; bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees.  Steam cauliflower 10 minutes, then remove half the florets.  Steam the rest 15-20 minutes longer and mash.  Heat butter in skillet; add onions and garlic.  Saute until tender.  Add basil, mashed califlower, salt, and pepper.  Saute 1 minute.  Remove from heat; stir in egg.  Spread into crust.  Sprinkle on the cheese.  Scatter partially steamed cauliflower florets on top.  Bake 30-35 minutes.

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