Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Giving Broccoli a Run for the Money

In the list of my most to least favorite cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower falls somewhere in the middle. So similar to broccoli (my favorite) in so many ways, it lacks not only the color, but the panache in my eyes. As such, and since I don’t like to eat it plain, I always have a hard time coming up with recipes to use it when it appears in my CSA box.

As a reminder, cruciferous vegetables are thus named for their cross-shaped flowers. They are the ones in the cabbage framily, from broccoli and cauliflower to greens and radishes and are known to have cancer fighting qualities. The same compound that is responsible for their bitter or pungent flavor has proven anti-cancer properties proven to remove carcinogens, kill cancer cells, and prevent tumors from growing.

Knowing that, this week I was bound and determined to do something great with the great white head. I found my answer in my Bon Appétit Vegetables cookbook. I bought the book for $1 last year and it has turned out to be the best dollar I ever spent. It is arranged by type of vegetable and each vegetable only has a few choices unlike the thousand or so I can find on the Internet. It’s also much more organized than my stack of recipes.

The recipe was for a Cauliflower and Ham Tart. It’s basically an egg, cauliflower, and ham quiche. I cut down a few of the steps (using a store bought crust) and lowered the amount of fattening ingredients (substituting milk for the whipping cream), turning it into a dish I’ll make again. I also skipped a few steps, by just parboiling the cauliflower and skipping the step of lightly browning it and the ham. The changes cut down the prep time and I think resulted in a fine dish.

I might even say it gave broccoli a run for the money.

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