The Reign of Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the new steak. And the new potato. It can withstand deep frying, broiling, searing, and pureeing. It is inexpensive, has a long shelf-life, and acts as a deliciously porous sponge, soaking up aromatics and spices like a champ. In addition to its enormous culinary potential, cauliflower is healthy and has enjoyed a recent surge in fame on restaurant menus around the country. 5 years ago, we wouldn’t describe it as hip, but today, cauliflower is standing in for fattier, richer components and diners couldn’t be happier!

Deep fried florets coated in flour and cornstarch tops my charts and can be adorned with General Tso’s or Buffalo Wing-style sauces. Crispy, fresh, and totally addictive options for appetizers and entrees. Roasting cauliflower retains its inviting texture while imparting deep caramelization. Toss florets in olive oil, za’atar, salt, and sumac and roast until brown for an exciting Middle Eastern side. Or go whole-hog and roast an entire crown of cauliflower and present it to a table full of hungry diners. Cauliflower is also perfect for purees and mashes because its starch content adds richness and body. Pureed soups, like butternut squash, benefit enormously from the addition of cauliflower.

If your diners love mashed potatoes, they will also love cauliflower mashed with white beans and cloves of whole, roasted garlic. This healthier alternative packs in flavor and can be made far in advance, unlike mashed potatoes. Leftover can be mixed together with bread crumbs, egg, and fried into croquettes.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.