When I think of possible side dishes and soups, I often overlook cauliflower. But, the past few years my husband and I have grown cauliflower in our garden, so I’ve experimented with it more in recipes. It’s versatile and can take on the flavors you combine with it.
I often stir together coarsely chopped carrots, cauliflower, green pepper, and broccoli (or anything else I harvest from the garden) and toss it with our favorite Italian vinaigrette salad dressing. It’s a regular side dish for our spring and summer menus.
For cool spring evenings, this Winning Cream of Cauliflower Soup really hits the spot. I like that it calls for basic ingredients I often have on hand in my refrigerator and pantry. And, it takes less than an hour to simmer before serving.
And, if you’re looking for a change of pace from mashed potatoes, you might consider serving cauliflower instead. Think beyond the standard cooked cauliflower and cheese sauce. This fun Mashed Cauliflower Au Gratin is a tasty alternative. And each serving has only 238 calories.
Meet the Cook: Generally, my husband isn’t a soup fan – but his spoon’s poised and ready for this version. I adapted this rich and creamy concoction from a recipe I tasted at a local restaurant…and it’s since become a popular item on my “menu”. -Carol Reaves, San Antonio, Texas
8 Servings Prep: 30 min. Cook: 40 min.
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, grated
2 celery ribs, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
5 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
Fresh tarragon, optional
In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, saute the onions, carrots, celery and garlic in 1/4 cup butter until tender. Add cauliflower, broth, parsley, salt and pepper, basil and tarragon. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the milk and whipping cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add to cauliflower mixture. Cook for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream.
Garnish with tarragon if desired. Yield: 8 servings (about 2 quarts).
Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 cup) equals 286 calories, 23 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 68 mg cholesterol, 1,083 mg sodium
Unless someone tells you, you might not know you’re eating cauliflower. But if you do like cauliflower, you’ll love this version. It’s buttery, cheesy, creamy and wow. — Sandie Parker, Freeland, Michigan
12 Servings Prep: 40 min. Cook: 40 min.
2 large heads cauliflower, broken into florets
1-1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
1 cup (4 ounces) Italian-style panko (Japanese) bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°. Place cauliflower in a stockpot; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10-12 minutes or until very tender. Drain; transfer to a large bowl. Mash cauliflower; stir in cheeses, cubed butter and seasonings. Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs and melted butter until evenly coated; sprinkle over cauliflower mixture. Bake, uncovered, 40-50 minutes or until heated through and topping is golden brown. Yield: 12 servings (3/4 cup).
Nutritional Facts: 3/4 cup equals 238 calories, 17 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 41 mg cholesterol, 612 mg sodium, 14 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 9 g protein.