cauliflower recipe

Cauliflower and Grilled Corn Gratin

Cauliflower and Grilled Corn Gratin

I made this dish for a dinner with friends this weekend. It was a big hit. The cauliflower, corn and carrots worked perfectly together. Of course, the bechamel sauce, cheese and bread crumbs didn’t hurt, either.

This dish came about because I needed a side dish and wanted to use what I had on hand. I had recently purchased a rather large head of cauliflower. I was thinking gratin, but wanted more than cauliflower so I looked to see what else I had around. Carrots seemed like a natural addition. I like their sweetness with cauliflower, plus they would add a pop of color. A trip to the freezer for something else was a lucky break.

I saw a package of corn I had recently frozen. I had been to a clambake the weekend before. They had grilled corn on the cob and had extras. I was given some to take home. Thanks, Arlene!!!

I cut the corn off the cob and used some of them in a chowder. I froze the rest, about two cups worth. I just knew that was what I need to round out the flavors in the gratin.

I was right. It was a wonderful combination. If you don’t feel like grilling corn, you can cook it under the broiler.

 

So here is the recipe. Hope you give it a try.

 

Cauliflower and Grilled Corn Gratin

 

6 c. cauliflower- broken into bite sized pieces

4 ears corn, grilled, cooled, kernels cut off the cobs- about 2 cups

3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced thin

4 T. butter

4 T. flour

2 ½ c. half and half, warmed

Salt and pepper to taste

4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

¼ bread crumbs

 

Prepare cauliflower by steaming until just tender.  Steam the carrots until just tender, too. I was lucky enough to have corn that had been grilled, minus the husks, so it had a nice char on it. The smoky flavor really added to the dish. You can cook the corn under the broiler, too, to get that char. Combine the vegetables in a lightly buttered casserole dish. I used a 9×9-inch square pan. Then make the white sauce (bechamel) by melting the butter together in a pan with the flour, whisking until smooth. Stir in the half and half and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper- use enough- the veggies don’t have any salt on them. Pour the sauce over the veggies in the casserole dish and stir a little to coat evenly. Sprinkle with the cheese and then the bread crumbs. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the mixture is bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Serves 6.

 

My Best Ever Cauliflower Soup

My Best Ever Cauliflower Soup

My Best Ever Cauliflower Soup

My friend Kim and I used to laugh about the covers of all the December issues of women’s magazine. They always declared it was “The Best Christmas Issue Ever!!!” When I made this soup earlier today I knew it was extra good. A friend was over and I gave him a bowl to taste. He looked at me and said, wait for it…”This is the best cauliflower soup you ever made.”  I didn’t have a name for the soup yet so I decided to call it My Best Ever Cauliflower Soup . The soup lives up to its name. The soup itself has plenty of flavor, even without the toppings. With the toppings it becomes something very special. If you are looking for a really good and easy soup recipe- I suggest you give this one a try.

 

 

My Best Ever Cauliflower Soup

3 T. oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 small head cauliflower, chopped
1 qt. chicken stock, but you could use beef or vegetable stock instead
1 qt. canned tomatoes, I had home canned, you could use a 28 oz. can of tomatoes
4 ribs celery, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 T. curry powder, I used my homemade curry powder
2 t. turmeric
1 t. cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom topping:
2 T. oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb. baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
3 T. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Additional toppings:
Green onions, sliced
Cashews, you could also use peanuts
Sesame oil

Heat oil in soup pot and cook onion until tender. Add cauliflower and cook about 5 minutes longer. Add remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. While soup is cooking make mushroom topping. Heat oil in small skillet and cook onion until golden. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are almost caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add parsley and cook a few more minutes. Set aside until ready to use. When soup is done, puree until smooth. To serve soup ladle some hot soup into a bowl. Top with some mushroom mixture and add a few green onions, cashews and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serves 6.

Cheesy Cauliflower Mash

Cheesy Cauliflower Mash

Cheesy Cauliflower Mash

If you are looking for a fun way to serve cauliflower you might try serving it mashed. I know people who started serving mashed cauliflower as a lower carb option for mashed potatoes, but they are good enough to make just because they taste so good. I found myself with a very large head of cauliflower and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it. My friend Jonathan helped me to decide. I mentioned the cauliflower to him and he reminded me how much he likes cauliflower mash. So I made this for him.

 

 

I started by cutting up the cauliflower and boiling it until tender. I drained it and then mashed it up a little. When you do that some of the cooking water will come out. Drain it off. I then started adding all the yummy stuff. Butter, a whole stick, and 4 ounces of cream cheese. The heat of the cauliflower helped to melt the cheese. Then I added some salt and pepper and a healthy dash of hot sauce. I made it cheesier by shredding 4 ounces of sharp cheddar into the mix. As I stirred it in the cheese melted. I felt it still needed something. I added a cup of shredded Pecorino Romano cheese and added some green onions and fresh chopped parsley, too. What can I say? I tasted great.

 

You can serve it with or without gravy. Sometimes I put it in a casserole dish and add bread crumbs and extra butter on top and cook in a 350 degree oven until bubbly and a little brown on the top.

 

No matter how you finish it off, cheesy cauliflower is an easy and tasty way to serve this very versatile veggie.

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