There are not too many veggies I don’t like but I will admit that plain old steamed cauliflower is about as boring as it comes.

Unless you slather it with cheese sauce or loads of butter and lemon juice, cauliflower is as ho-hum as a politician looking to get re-elected-all promise and no delivery! And if you do pile on the cheese and/or butter you are adding unnecessary calories and fat - not a good thing at any age.
Cauliflower is a beautiful looking vegetable and horticultural advances now give us gorgeous heads in  colors other than white.  I have seen yellow, purple and pale green heads in several stores. But no matter the color, they all tasted pretty much the same until I happened onto the idea of braising a whole head in a savory tomato sauce and adding a few aromatics and other veggies to the dish. Was I ever happily surprised at the result! I chose to add onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and fresh herbs because I had mushrooms in the refrigerator and tomatoes, onions and herbs in the garden. You could get really creative with the additions you like or have on hand. I think green beans, squash, or eggplant would be great as well.
This dish can be served as an impressive side dish or placed atop a mound of your favorite rice, potatoes or  pasta that has been cooked and seasoned with pesto or garlic, olive oil and a bit of parmesan cheese.  It screams “Italy” to me and wants a bit of garlic bread or pasta to help soak up the sauce. A nice green salad will complete the meal and give you the balance of the live enzymes that raw food provides.
At a concert I attended recently, the voluptuous lead singer made a remark that triggered all kinds of memories for me. It was: “How’s your Mama and them?”  I’d love to know some of the Southernisms and comfort foods you grew up with. Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and give me a glimpse into your life and times.
1 large head cauliflower, washed, outer leaves and core removed*
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced into thin slices
1 8-ounce package button or  Baby Bella mushrooms, washed and quartered
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed-no need to mince them
1 large, bay leaf
1 large can diced tomatoes in juice or 8 diced fresh tomatoes, such as plum tomatoes . (If using fresh tomatoes add about a cup of V-8 or tomato juice)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup mixed, chopped fresh herbs, such as, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil
When you remove the core from the cauliflower, try to keep the head intact. If some pieces fall off it is no big deal, it just makes a prettier presentation to keep it whole.
1) In a large, heavy-bottom, stainless steel pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions and mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes.  Add Crushed garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add in half the tomatoes and juice, bay leaf and 1/2 cup of the chopped herbs. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Add in the head of cauliflower. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour on the rest of the tomatoes and juice.
2) Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and turn heat to low.  Simmer/braise for 25-30 minutes. Check for tenderness after the first twenty minutes.  (You want it to be tender but not falling apart or mushy. I cooked mine for 25 minutes then turned off the heat and kept it covered to steam another 5 minutes or so.
3) When done, taste a small piece for seasonings and correct if needed. Then remove the cauliflower to a platter or to the top of your bowl of rice, pasta or potatoes.  Discard the bay leaf. Pour over the remaining tomatoes, onions and mushrooms and sprinkle the rest of the herbs on top. Serve it with pride and know people will not believe it is cauliflower!


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