Cauliflower Love

Boy have I been cooking lately. Between our overflowing CSA box and us trying to cut down on eating things that come out of a box at home in an effort to be healthier to get Will back to normal, I have been making so many meals at home and getting creative. My latest love is cauliflower. Historically it has not been my favorite as my only memory of eating cauliflower as a kid was smeared in melted cheese (the only way my family seems to eat vegetables). But these days I love it roasted with a bit of curry powder, blended in a soup, and as of late, mashed. So here are two of my favorite recipes. I only have a photo of the soup as I was too busy stuffing the mashed stuff in my face to take a photo. But it looks mostly like mashed potatoes but less thick. I imagine that if you have kids it might be an excellent way to get them to eat a vegetable that’s healthier than a potato.

Cauliflower and Leek Soup

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup leeks, chopped
1/2 an onion, chopped (any kind works, I used red above which is why that soup looks a bit darker)
a chunk of fennel, chopped (about a 2″ piece) – this is optional, I only use it when I have it on hand
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 cups of stock
1-2 tbsp fresh parsley
2 tbsp ghee, butter, or whatever cooking fat you like to use
2 strips of thick bacon – optional

Melt cooking fat in a large soup pot, add onions, garlic and fennel. Cook until soft, add leeks and cauliflower, stir. Cook for five minutes – the looks should soften up and the cauliflower will have some color to it. Add stock, stir and bring to a boil. Keep at a medium boil until you can press the back of a spoon against a piece of cauliflower and it gives pretty easily. Stir in the parsley and let the soup cool. While it’s cooling, cook your bacon strips if you’ve using it. I like them left a little fattier for this. When they’re done, chop them into small pieces and set aside. Blend the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Add bacon and stir.

Mashed Cauliflower
This is pretty simple and the ingredient amounts depends on how much you want to make. Chop the cauliflower and boil or steam it until it’s tender and you can easily push a fork through it. Drain the water and add either ghee, butter, or olive oil. I like to add a bit of minced garlic, sea salt and pepper. The best way to make these is to use an immersion blender, but you could use a regular blender as well. Blend until smooth. Fresh parsley is a great addition if you have it. If you eat meat, this goes really beautifully with pork chops.

A few people have asked me recently on twitter/instagram what ghee is and where they can get it. You can read all the details here and you can buy it at health food stores, or make it at home yourself. Personally I just buy a big thing of it at Whole Foods because it’s not that expensive. I’m crazy about it, as is Heidi Swanson, if you need a better endorsement.