Monday, February 22, 2016

Cauliflower Rice and other love

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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Cauliflower Rice
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.

Roasted Cauliflower
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.

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Rosa said...

A great idea! I love cauliflower.



AdriBarr said...

So will 2016 be the year of the cauliflower? I think so because I am seeing lots of cauliflower love out there, and that is OK by me. This is totally new to me, this caulifower rice thing. I have never heard of it, but I think I am intrigued. Experimentation is therefore in order. Thanks for the inspiration!

Proud Italian Cook said...

If you're a bit lazy like me, check out Trader Joes they have it already riced in the freezer section,very convenient and no lugging out the food processor. I have 4 bags in my freezer right now. It goes so fast as soon as they put it out, you're right, it's very popular. Love everything you made here!

Rosemary Wolbert said...

Your timing is perfect, Linda! I have a head of cauliflower in the fridge ad was looking of something new to do. I do like to cook it and mash it, then use the mashed "potato" for things like pancakes. I recently made a cassrole with the mashed cauliflower, fennel and onions -- it was great! I'm with you, though, I love it best roasted. Ready to try ricing!

Chiara Giglio said...

bellissime ricette per me che amo tanto il cavolfiore, grazie !

Marisa Franca @ Allourway said...

I love roasted cauliflower and I haven't tried to rice it yet but I'm willing to try. Now I kinda have a cheater way of doing it. I noticed Trader Joe has it in its freezer section. It probably won't taste as good but I thought the next time I'm at Giotto's I'll get a package. I don't have my food processor with me now but as soon as we go home I'll try your recipe. I'm a real veggie eater as well as a pasta love, also polenta and risotto -- I guess I could go on and on. I'm always up for good food. You've just given me a good ole kick in the rear to do the cauliflower. Thank you.

Paula Barbarito Levitt said...

Snacking on those browned bits of roasted cauliflower straight from the pan is a pre-dinner ritual for me. I have not tried the cauliflower rice yet so thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

I need to try this. I've done the cauliflower pizza crust with success (which I keep meaning to post - but life). My favorite is indeed roasted right out of the oven that you did. Love that you have one with pasta - so much for avoiding carbs! But seriously - liking the looks of this with the healthy but delicious add ins.

daniela64 said...

Fantastiche le ricette che hai realizzato con il cavolfiore ; la pasta la provo prestissimo. Un abbraccio, Daniela.

Frank Fariello said...

What a yummy collection of recipes. And the cauliflower rice is one bandwagon that I managed to have missed... until now. Will definitely give it try soon.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I'm with you, Linda--my favorite way to enjoy cauliflower is to roast it. I love adding garlic, red onion slices and capers to the cauliflower in the last minutes of roasting. I've seen the price of cauliflower go up with its popularity--it really is a versatile vegetable

Lori Lynn Hirsch Stokoe said...

Hi Linda - I like your cauliflower rice recipe! I just this past week found fresh cauliflower in rice form at Trader Joe's making it even faster and easier to make cauliflower rice recipes. Yum.

Debby Foodiewife said...

I have a head of cauliflower and have always wanted to jump on the same bandwagon with you. I agree, though, that I love roasted cauliflower. It's so nutty and flavorful.