Monday, February 27, 2012

Even Kids Will Love This Cauliflower Recipe

Last Monday's blog entry featured a recipe for salmon, a fantastically healthy food, but one that can be hard to get kids to eat. This week's recipe is for cauliflower - the very same cauliflower recipe pictured in last week's blog, in fact!

Mark Twain once said 'Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education' - people often assume he's mocking the vegetable, but in reality, he's extolling its improvements over the simple cabbage. Even so, it's no secret that kids have a tough time with cauliflower. When overcooked, it can take on a sulphurous smell and soggy texture that makes children the world over run. However, when cooked properly, it can be slightly sweet, with a pleasant firmness. Additionally, cauliflower, like all foods of the Brassica species, imparts large amounts of fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Building kids' love for cauliflower early establishes great habits for the rest of their lives.

This recipe is adapted from a favorite of mine, Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (red wine vinegar is also OK)
2/3 cup of tahini, approx.
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt

Cut the cauliflower florets off from the head. Steam until stems can be easily pierced with a fork, but are not overly soft. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, and then chop into smaller pieces.

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients except tahini in a blender or food processor. Add the tahini in parts, until you reach a consistency you like. If you add the full amount of tahini, it will come out with a fairly thick consistency, similar to hummus, so smaller amounts will produce a more dressing-like consistency.

Toss the dressing and cauliflower while the cauliflower is still warm, and serve. The result is a tangy, creamy mix of cauliflower and sauce that is not entirely unlike macaroni and cheese (really). This should please even the most finicky of little eaters.