Cauliflower – A Nutrition Powerhouse

Cauliflower is a perfect food swap,  as this member of the cruciferous vegetable family is packed with a rich supply of nutrients and is finally getting the attention it deserves as a nutrition powerhouse. With a nutty and slightly sweet taste, cauliflower has become one of the trendiest vegetables over the last few years, making its way onto restaurant menus and dinner tables in a variety of ways, including riced versions of the vegetable and an alternative pizza crust. 

High in Vitamin C and fiber, it’s a good carb and great swap for potatoes that are high in starch and it makes a great low carb pizza crust that’s gluten-free. 

Here are some of our favorite ways to use this versatile cruciferous veggie!

CAULIFLOWER PIZZA PIE CRUST

This easy pie crust can be topped with all your usual favorites, or switch it up with some pesto, green veggies and mozzarella cheese.

1               head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets

½ c           shredded mozzarella

¼ c           grated Parmesan

½ tsp       dried oregano

½ c           fresh ricotta

½ tsp       kosher salt

¼ tsp       garlic powder

2               eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the cauliflower florets into a food processor, and pulse until fine (you can buy frozen “riced cauliflower if preferred). Steam in a steamer basket and drain well. Let cool.

In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with all the remaining ingredients. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle so it resembles a pizza crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.

CAULIFLOWER & FENNEL SOUP WITH PARSLEY OIL

Surprisingly good, this simple recipe is elevated with the addition of the homemade parsley oil. Vegan and vegetarian.

1                 large cauliflower, trimmed and finely chopped

2                 fennel bulbs, trimmed and finely chopped, fronds reserved

1 Tbs         EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

3                cloves garlic, crushed

4                scallions, roughly chopped

4 c             hot vegetable stock

4 c             hot water

1 tsp          Sea salt

1 tsp          black pepper 

sumac to serve

Parsley oil

1 c              flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

2                scallions, roughly chopped

2 Tbs        EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1 Tbs        fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs        water

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic, onion, cauliflower and fennel. 

Cook, stirring, for about five minutes or until slightly softened. Add the stock, water, salt and pepper, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, and using a hand-held blender, blender until smooth.

To make the parsley oil, place all the ingredients in a bowl and using a hand-held blender, blender until smooth.

When serving, top with the soup with the parsley oil, reserved fennel fronds and sprinkle with sumac.

CAULIFLOWER & WHITE BEAN MASH

A delicious alternative to mashed potatoes, made extra yummy with the addition of cannellini beans. Vegan and vegetarian.

1                large cauliflower, trimmed and finely chopped

15 oz         can white (cannellini) beans, drained and rinsed

2                cloves garlic, crushed

4 c             chicken stock

2 c             water

1 Tbs         EVVO (extra virgin olive oil)

3                sprigs rosemary, chop leaves 

Sea salt and pepper

Place the cauliflower, beans, garlic, stock and water in a large saucepan over high heat. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return the cauliflower and bean mixture to the pan and mash until smooth.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over high heat, add the rosemary and cook for 30 seconds or until crispy. Top the mash with the rosemary, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with the warm olive oil.

Sue Taggart