I finally got on the bandwagon - the cauliflower rice bandwagon, that is. Cauliflower "rice" been all over the internet for years, but I had yet to try it. This is a great way of "pretending" you're eating carbs without really eating carbs. It's so easy to prepare and lends itself to so many adaptations, depending on the flavors you choose to add.
Start out by cutting some florets from a head of raw cauliflower and putting them in the food processor. Pulse a little at a time until they look like grains of rice.
Then the creativity starts. I chopped up some red peppers, onions and parsley and put them in a bowl, tossing them with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. You can use any combination of spices and other vegetables that suits your fancy - try turmeric and mushrooms; sage and zucchini bits; saffron and fennel, for example.
I spread the mixture on a cookie sheet and baked it briefly at 350 degrees. I didn't want the cauliflower to brown, since I wanted it to still look like "rice."
After about 10 minutes, remove from the oven. It will still retain some bite, but it won't be as crunchy as raw cauliflower.
Serve as a side dish instead of potatoes, noodles or rice and your waistline will thank you.
My favorite way to eat cauliflower, however, has to be roasted, where the crispy edges and intense flavor of cauliflower is highlighted. Start by cutting up some florets and tossing them in a bowl with some olive oil, parmesan cheese, black pepper, paprika and parsley. Roast at high heat (450 degrees) and keep a close watch on it. It should take about 15-20 minutes, flipping once. I used a Silpat silicone mat beneath it all, which makes cleanup very easy.
The cauliflower is terrifically addictive right from the pan, as a vegetable, but if you've got leftovers, it's handy for all kinds of things, like adding to an omelet or frittata, below.
Or toss into some pasta, with some pancetta, red peppers and parmesan cheese.
Start by sautéing a little pancetta and don't throw out the fat. Remove the pancetta and sauté some strips of red pepper and onion in the fat, then add the pasta, straight from the pot, along with some of the cooking water, to help create a small amount of "sauce." Throw in the leftover cauliflower and pancetta bits, some parmesan cheese, a grinding of black pepper, and dinner is ready.
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printable recipe here
Cut the cauliflower into florets and place them in a food processor. Pulse until they are about the size of rice grains. Place into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add minced onions and peppers if you like, and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the cauliflower and other vegetables soften a bit.
printable recipe here
Cut the cauliflower into florets and slice so that pieces can lie flat on a cookie sheet. Place them in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, some parmesan, black pepper and minced parsley. Spread them out on a greased cookie sheet (or one lined with Silpat) and roast in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes, flipping once.