Mixed Greens Blog

Mixed Greens Blog
Living Sustainably in the Pacific Northwest

31
May
2009

Cauliflower Chic

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Cauliflower. You could almost use it as a bouquet of florets on a wedding table. In terms of beauty, cauliflower has its own shabby chic charm. The taste, however, can be far more exotic, depending on how it’s prepared. One thing is for certain — I’ve noticed that many people arrive here at Mixed Greens in a quest for white vegetables. I don’t know if they are looking for the pure white-on-white esthetic or if they’re in search of recipes after not being able to resist buying these creamy white beauties.

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I came upon several baskets overflowing with cauliflower at Nash’s Organic Produce at the University Farmers Market and I’ll admit my first impulse had more to do with photography than cooking. But there were some recipes for “eccentric salads” that caught my eye, especially the one for a parmesan and parsley cauliflower salad. I decided to transform my cauliflower after its modeling gig by taking it for a more playful crunchy caper. Once the makeover was complete, I could hardly recognize the formerly statuesque brassica oleracea.

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This is a salad that’s most delicious served warm. It can even be reheated and is actually quite good that way, especially with a little extra parmesan.

Panfried Cauliflower Salad

1 large egg

1 head cauliflower

1 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated

1/3 cup olive oil for panfrying

1 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley leaves

1t lemon zest

2 T lemon juice

4 T olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Cut the florets from the stem of the cauliflower. If they are too large, you can cut them into halves or even quarters.

Lightly beat egg in a bowl. Place cheese in a wide shallow bowl.

Dip cauliflower in egg first, then in cheese, rolling around to coat.

Heat olive oil in heavy skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Panfry cauliflower for about 3 minutes, turning occasionally using tongs until all sides are golden. If the cheese sticks to the pan, you can lift it up gently with your tongs.

Lift out of oil and transfer to paper towels to drain.

Make a dressing of lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper.

Toss cauliflower with parsley and dressing.

Salt & pepper to taste.
cauliflower18 of 20 Thanks to Maggie Ruggiero at Gourmet.com for the recipe inspiration.
If you haven’t tried Sally’s cauliflower soup, I can highly recommend that as well.


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5 Responses »

  1. Can you think of a sub for the egg? I love to have roasted cauliflower and your recipe sounds really good. But I don’t eat eggs, so any ideas are welcome.

  2. Mangochild, I tried to find a substitute for eggs but most of what I saw has to do with baking. I did see one suggestion using ground flax seeds whisked in hot water. Anything that would help the cheese stick to the cauliflower would work. If you were to roast instead of pan-fry, it would be much easier to keep intact.

  3. I have a new favorite way to cook cauliflower. Just slice it about 1/4 inch thick, add some olive oil & salt & roast until brown. It leaves the cauliflower crispy on the outside & soft on the inside. I found this recipe on Orangette.

  4. Oh, as soon as it’s cool enough to cook in the kitchen again, I’m going to make this. Lovely photos, as usual!

  5. Susan, I love roasted cauliflower too. So easy.
    Chris, glad you like the photos & yes, stay out of the kitchen until it cools off!