Blogger link

McIlrath Farms Purple Cauliflower Makes a Delicious Spring Dish, According to Food Blogger Yakima | Explore Yakima

I gasped when I saw the giant head of purple cauliflower popping out of my McIlrath Farms weekly vegetable box. My kids rolled their eyes at my obvious delight, but I was in love despite their teasing.

What was I going to do with such a beautiful vegetable? My mind immediately started spinning with ideas. I knew for sure that I had to preserve that gorgeous purple color. (I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes too; my enthusiasm for vegetables might be a little strong, but that’s okay).

I was flipping through a few of my favorite cookbooks for inspiration when I came across Yotam Ottolenghi’s Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe in his “Simple” cookbook. The process of boiling the cauliflower before drizzling it with butter and roasting it in a hot oven seemed quite simple and would preserve that gorgeous purple hue.

I couldn’t choose between a creamy dressing or a spicy herb chimichurri type dip so I decided to combine the two for a green goddess style dip. I make lots of variations of this dip and use it as a salad dressing, drizzled over roasted vegetables, spread on sourdough bread, or even as a condiment on a sandwich. I try to keep a version of this easy recipe in my fridge just about every week. It often depends on what we are planning to eat for dinner or what I have on hand, but fresh herbs and a little lemon juice go a long way to liven up just about any recipe.

When I finally presented my beautiful roasted cauliflower to my family, they looked at the plate with a bit of suspicion. How can we even eat this, dared to ask the tween. I explained that it was kind of like bread to separate – they could just break off florets, dip it in the sauce and eat it. They determined that it definitely didn’t taste like separated bread, but it was good nonetheless. They gobbled up the cauliflower pretty quickly and I patted myself on the back for tricking them into eating a whole head of cauliflower as a “snack”.

Joking aside, this is a great recipe to serve as an appetizer. With its beautiful presentation, everyone will gather around the plate to taste it. Another simple option is to slice the cauliflower like you would a steak after roasting it. Follow the recipe as you go, and instead of serving it whole, cut it into 1 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Place the cauliflower “steaks” on each individual plate and drizzle with the green goddess sauce.

Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Goddess Dip

1 large head of purple or white cauliflower

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons of butter

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil mayonnaise

1/4 cup low-fat sour cream

Juice of half a lemon

1 bunch fresh parsley coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons of fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons fresh chives

1 clove of garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Put aside. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Wash the cauliflower, preserving the green leaves, and pat dry with a paper towel. Plunge the cauliflower upside down in boiling water for 6 minutes. Remove the cauliflower, drain in a colander upside down for at least 10 minutes.

Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet, head side up. In the microwave, melt the butter for 10 seconds. Toss it with the olive oil and brush the cauliflower generously with the mixture, making sure to coat it evenly all over the vegetable. Salt and pepper generously. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cauliflower is crisp and brown and very tender.

While the cauliflower roasts, combine the herbs, mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor until the sauce is smooth and bright green. Taste and adjust flavors if needed, adding a little more lemon juice for brightness and to thin the sauce or a touch of salt and pepper to enhance the flavor.

To note: For a non-dairy option, substitute sour cream and mayonnaise with tahini (sesame paste).

To serve, place the cauliflower on a platter, cut into “steaks” and serve with the green goddess sauce drizzled over the cauliflower. Or for a fun appetizer, simply break up the sprigs and dip them in the sauce.

Andrea McCoy’s Salt and Stone column and recipes appear twice a month in Explore.