Cauliflower is definitely having a moment, which makes sense because it’s one of the most versatile veggies available this time of year. It loves to be seasoned, pairs well with bright, spicy foods (Think: lemons and capers) and is generally happy to be charred, roasted, sliced and dipped — as well as disguised as rice, pasta and pizza crust.
Cauliflower is your new favorite weeknight dinner date when you whip it up in one of these five smart ways.
1. ROAST IT
You don’t need to slice cauliflower into florets to roast it, you can just do it whole. For best results, trim any unsightly stems or leaves, then blanch the head whole it for 10 minutes in hot water. Then, place it on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and top with a few tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and pepper, then roast it at 400°F (204°C) for 1 1/2–2 hours until charred evenly and easily pierced in with a knife. (Note: This is a great thing to do on a Sunday while you’re hanging at home. You’ll have delicious cauliflower to serve as a simple side all week.)
No time to roast whole? No biggie. Simply slice into steaks, season with 4 tablespoons olive oil (or a little harissa paste), a pinch of salt and pepper and pop into the oven at 400°F (204°C) for 30 minutes until charred and toasty. Serve with chopped arugula, hummus, protein or even capers and lemon wedges.
2. TOSS IT
If you absolutely have no time, you can simply shave that cauliflower thinly on a mandoline or cheese grater and serve as a raw salad with greens, a sprinkling of cheese, toasted almonds or any other accoutrements you love.
3. BLEND IT
Remember that whole roasted cauliflower you babysat on Sunday? Sauté half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, and a carrot or two until soft, add 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder and stir to coat. Then toss in a few handfuls of roasted cauliflower, a can of coconut milk and warm through. Purée with an immersion or high-speed blender and you have a gorgeous vegan cauliflower + carrot curry soup.
4. SAUTÉ IT
Take those perky little florets, toss them into a pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté until golden brown. Shower with fresh herbs (like parsley or chives) and Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and you have a lovely, lighter version of cheesy mac.
5. STIR-FRY IT
Treat it as you would broccoli, season at will and serve with your favorite protein and steamed rice.