A Southern Grace: (cauli)flower arrangements

March 22, 2016

(cauli)flower arrangements


What if my bridal bouquet was made out of vegetables instead of flowers? A few stalks of asparagus, some heirloom carrots and ears of corn for color, and maybe some bean sprouts to fill things out, how would that look? I'll bet someone's done it.

Okay, yes, food is a pretty important part of my life, but I can still recognize that that's taking things a wee bit too far. Thankfully, I have a few ladies in my life who are very knowledgeable about flowers and are helping me taking care of that piece of the wedding puzzle!

Perhaps it's because my wedding is never far from my mind, but lately I think of a bouquet of flowers every time I see a head of cauliflower at the store. (Is this a red flag? I may have a problem.) They've been going into my cart more and more and I've been trying to find the very best way to prepare this delicious and nutritious (but woefully colorless) veggie.

First of all, I DO NOT LIKE raw cauliflower. I'm not sure why it offends me, but I feel strongly about that proclamation. That said, I've tried busting it up and roasting the pieces (STILL too crunchy for my tastes, even after over an hour in the oven on high heat) and I've cooked it whole. Most recently, I used the following method of briefly steaming and then roasting, and it produced the texture I like, though your mileage may vary. By cooking it first in a little bit of chicken broth instead of water, I found the end result to have better flavor and the most creamy mouthfeel.

I think cauliflower might be the next kale, and I'm all for that. What's your favorite way to prepare that bouquet of white florets?

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower
(printable recipe)
Serves 3-4
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the florets in a pot with the chicken broth and steam them for 5-10 minutes, depending on the amount of firmness you like. 10 minutes will be bordering on mushy.
Put the florets and pepper pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprinkle with the oil, lemon juice, and seasonings; toss to coat evenly.
Roast until golden and tender, 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.


Alicia Foodycat said...

I have seen some lovely bouquets with kale and frilly cabbages in them! I don't mind raw cauliflower dunked in a dip, but cooked cauli has to be properly cooked - I totally agree with you about roasting leaving it too hard.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great combination! I love both vegetables.



Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Hi Grace, this looks delicious, my favorite dish is cauliflower mash and I also love it roasted any way.

Angie's Recipes said...

My favourite way to prepare cauliflowers is to roast them! Taste the best!!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Raw cauliflower is not allowed. Bleck!
I really like it mashed, but husband isn't so much into that, so we oven roast it. However, they frozen cauliflower from the garden leaves so much to be desired. Wondering if your method with the chicken broth might help that bring a little more joy to my plate.

Elsa | the Whinery said...

I love, loooove roasted cauliflower, I can't get enough of it. I love what you've done with it here:-). Also, I've seen some pretty unique floral arrangements with all sorts of fruits and veggies, so you're not too far off with cauliflower.

priya said...

This is simple and delegate recipe I must say

leaf (the indolent cook) said...

This looks delectably simple. I like cauliflower and use them mostly in soups and curries. :)

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Cauliflower is definitely the next kale! It got so bad that the price of cauliflower was so high! We love it though (I love it roasted until it is golden and sweet).

Marsha | Marsha's Baking Addiction said...

I love cauliflower! This sounds delicious!

Unknown said...

I'm such a sucker for cauliflowers...... The recipe looks amazing!

Carmen Varner said...

Yes! I almost always slightly steam & then cook as desired. This looks terrific. :]

// ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

Carolyn Jung said...

I agree with you about raw cauliflower. It's so dry and crumbly that it's not the most agreeable veg to eat that way. I much prefer it roasted. Or cooked and pureed into a soup so smooth and creamy you'd swear cream was in it.

Beth said...

Roasting cauliflower has turned me into a believer! Love this recipe - and I want to hear more about your wedding plans!