Cauliflower and broccoli are both cruciferous vegetables, with very similar nutritional properties and health benefits. They are both low in fat and high in dietary fiber, water and vitamin C. While traditionally, we tend to differentiate cauliflower as white and broccoli as green in colours, it has not been the case anymore. There are few variants of cauliflower with garish-looking colours of orange, green and purple!
Erm… I think I’ll stick to my white head for now 🙂
In Quest for the Best Method
As far as I could remember, my Mum seldom bought cauliflower when I was a kid, as the veg only appeared in the vegetable markets or supermarkets once a year during the Chinese New Year season. The only way I knew cauliflower was cooked then was in stir-fries (mixed veg) the Chinese way. It’s usually a good stir-fry but amazingly, all the other vegetables (broccoli, baby corn, straw or oyster mushrooms, sugar snap peas and carrot) would be gone in a jiffy leaving some white florets behind on the plate, untouched. Kids’re not very fond of the crunchy texture and odd flavour of the cauliflower. That’s what I remembered when I was a child.
Now that I’m not a kid anymore, I re-visted my Mum’s kitchen and cooked up a quick mixed veg stir fry dish for my family. It looked appetisingly good, but amazingly, I went through a déjà vu experience. All the other veg were gone in no time at all but not the poor cauliflower florets! What’s wong??!!
Honestly speaking, my guys LOVE cauliflower, but it was the wrong execution. So, exit, the quick stir-fry method…for the time being, of course 😉
There are several ways to prepare cauliflower ~ oven-roasted, baked, grilled, fried, steamed, boiled and blended in soup or eaten raw. Cauliflower soup with a touch of garam masala has been a winner with my family. So also steamed cauliflower in bechemel sauce. Raw cauliflower is great in dips or in tabbouleh salad, perfect for the summer season.
By the way, with the temperature plummeting of late, something warm is very much desired in my home. My all-time favourite method to appease everyones’ appetite unanimously is oven-roasted cauliflower florets. It’s the easiest and trust me, the tastiest way to prepare a mundane and almost boring looking cauliflower…. from just plain white to something cheerfully exciting!
The warmth of the spices amalgamated in the cauliflower florets with the charred bits were a joy to eat. One whole head of cauliflower was easily gone in one serving for my family of 4! Not a single floret left untouched …
This recipe is inspired by Erin Gleeson’s, The Forest Feast Cookbook, with my variation of spices, dried herbs and roasting duration.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
- Freshly-milled black peppercorns
- Coarse sea salt, ground ~ to taste
4 Tbsp Olive Oil or any cooking oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 230 deg C
- Mix the ground spice-herb mix in a bowl and pour in a clean ziplock bag
- Add the cauliflower florets in the bag of spice mix and shake the bag to coat the florets evenly
- Place the spiced florets in a baking tray. Add cooking oil and stir to distribute the oil evenly over the spiced florets
- Bake for 25 minutes
- After 25 minutes, lower the temperature to 200 deg C and bake for a further 8 to 10 minutes.
- Ready to serve
Cauliflower is typically an Autumn veg. For this, I’m linking this post to the following October blog-hop cooking events –
Cook-Your-Books #27 @ Kitchen Flavours