January 23, 2019

Winter Vegetables: The Cauliflower / Il Cavolfiore

Handsome Cauliflower

The Cauliflower is a wonderful little vegetable that is in its prime season right now. The only thing is that I sometimes run out of ideas on how to prepare it when trying to lose some holiday weight.

If I wasn't concerned with losing some holiday weight, I'd prepare cauliflower in a typical fritto misto of Emilia-Romagna (breaded and fried along with other seasonal vegetables) or in grate', baked with a bechamel sauce and covered with crispy breadcrumbs, like my mother-in-law used to make.

But since alas, I enjoyed my holidays and have some extra weight to show for it, I shall pass on the fried and baked goodies.

Trying to lose weight means eating lots of vegetables with the least amount of condiment as possible. After you have tired of eating it steamed or boiled with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, I suggest you try the recipe below. I imagine that I am not the only one who has some weight to lose and this following dish is healthy and diet-worthy as long as you don't eat the whole bowl! What it lacks in calories it makes up in flavor!

It is also a great vegetarian and vegan dish that doesn't call for any special ingredients. This can also be made gluten-free by choosing the GF type pasta. My son who is a meat lover enjoys this dish as if it were a piece of steak. Is there a better endorsement than that?
Pasta & Cauliflower

This pasta dish is super tasty and easy, another plus!  

Tip: Get a cauliflower large enough for the number of people you wish to serve. 

(500g/about 1 pound) cauliflower for 2 generous servings or 3 European servings 
3-8 stalks fresh parsley, to taste
1 lg garlic clove 
excellent quality olive oil
dried, hard wheat (durum) or gluten-free pasta, a short, hollow shape is best. The amount is up to you. 
Salt to taste

Trim, rinse and cut the cauliflower in 1 cm slices and drop into boiling salted water. 
In the meantime, get a large enough bowl to hold the cooked pasta and vegetable and add a good 2 tablespoons of extra virgin oilive oil. 
Now peel and squish the garlic and immediately drop it into the large bowl with olive oil. 
Rinse and dry the parsley and cut as small as possible pieces using the stems. You can use kitchen scissors for this.

Check the cooking time on your short pasta. When the cauliflower about the same time away from being done as the time it takes to cook the pasta, you could add the pasta to the same pot where the cauliflower is cooking or cook the pasta separately. When cauliflower is cooked through drain and add to bowl, mixing well. If cooking separately, when pasta is done, drain and add to bowl. Add more olive oil if necessary. 
The raw garlic and parsley gives this pasta so much flavor that adding cheese would be overdoing it. 
Buon Appetito!
How do you enjoy your cauliflower?

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