we made a concerted effort to decide that we wanted to incorporate more vegetarian meals into diet. not simply because we eat entirely too much meat, because i’m not sure that’s possible, but also for financial reasons. meat is expensive and there are a million other great ways to get protein outside of chicken, pork, and steak.
cauliflower is a pretty versatile vegetable. i’ve used it for a handful of things in the past, mostly as a base for soups, once as rice, though i wasn’t quite happy with the result and i need to practice my technique, but never as pizza crust, though i’ve heard it’s great and is on the list. it’s probably one of the best substitutes for cream i’ve come across.
i wanted to make something different for dinner the other night, so i picked up a head of cauliflower and tried this recipe for cauliflower alfredo sauce. i had no idea what to expect, but i couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. i literally shovelled my first helping into my mouth within minutes before running back for seconds. and judging by the amount on her face, clothes, and in her hair, i’m pretty sure dylan loved it too. (cauliflower is also great for the skin, dontcha know.)
i didn’t plan perfectly so we ended up having dinner late but this is a pretty simple, intuitive process. boil cauliflower, add it and extra ingredients to a food processor, blend until smooth and you’re done. easier than an at-home tomato sauce, and just as lovely if you ask me.
i made a few personal changes to the existing recipe – i added a couple of whole garlic cloves (had my bulb been fresh i would have added more), and then i tossed it into a pan with bacon i’d fried up. my sauce didn’t come out as smooth and creamy as that shown, but i’m not complaining. he said, “it’s like mashed potatos,” and he’s right, thick and a little chunky. but i like that. let’s call it “rustic”. the only thing missing from our meal was some hearty, crusty garlic bread.
1 cauliflower head
1/2 cup hot cooking water
1/2 chicken bullion cube/satchet
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
salt and pepper, to taste
nutmeg, to taste
cooked, crumbled bacon or mushrooms
clean cauliflower and break or chop into large, manageable pieces. place in pot full of water and boil for 30-40 minutes or until cauliflower is soft. remove from heat and drain, reserving at least 1/2 cup of cooking water.
dissolve chicken bullion in 1/2 cup of very hot reserved cooking water.
in a food processor, combine drained cooked cauliflower and chicken boulion with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and process until a very creamy sauce forms. season with salt and pepper, and nutmeg (optional), to taste.
at this point you can let your sauce cool and store it or make dinner. because the sauce takes about 30 or 40 mins to come together, i put the pasta on when i had 10 minutes to spare. i fried the bacon and left them in the pan. once the sauce was blended, i transfered it to the pan with the bacon bits and stirred until it was all well combined.