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Cauliflower Season Puree Recipe

This year’s cauliflower are coming in, and they’re as big, delicious, and plentiful as the blueberries and cherries. That means, like the blueberries and cherries, they’re cheap this year, With that in mind, I thought that I’d offer you one of my favourite multi-purpose cauliflower recipes. This puree can work as a sauce, a side, a soup, or even a dip:

1 large cauliflower, cut into ½ inch thick pieces

5 cloves garlic, roasted

¼ cup oil

1 ½ tsp fennel, ground

½ tsp cumin, ground

1 ½ cup mushroom or vegetable broth

½ cup whipping cream (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Toss cauliflower with fennel, cumin, and enough oil to lightly coat. If it takes less than the ¼ cup, simply leave the rest out. Lay the mixture in a single flat layer in a baking dish and bake in the oven until the cauliflower begins to brown. Don’t worry if it looks undercooked.
2. Put broth into a pot and bring it to a low boil and add the cauliflower. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is soft.
3. Remove from heat, add garlic, and blend. Once it begins to come together, add the whipping cream and continue to blend the mixture until smooth. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.



Note: If your oven is reliable, use olive oil. However, the smoking point of olive oil is officially 410F, so if your oven is prone to fluctuation you should probably use canola or a canola/olive oil mixture. Don’t turn down your over, though. It’s better to keep the high heat, because we want it to brown a little in the oven.

Variations: Try adding herbs like tarragon or else a little curry powder for an Indian theme. If you feel like ramping it up, add some white wine to the broth or else finish it with some truffle oil. Cauliflower and truffles make magical flavours together.

Applications:

Sauce. Simply smear it onto the plate before the rest of the elements. This is a sauce that works best underneath the other food because it is so thick. Of course, used this way, it can also play the role of a vegetable on the plate, as it is almost entirely cauliflower. I used it underneath a mushroom risotto, and it was just perfect. The subtle flavours compliment the mushrooms and the texture reinforces the creaminess of the risotto. But use your imagination. It goes with so many different flavours and textures that you should probably just try it with whatever you’re eating at the time.

Soup. Thin it with a little more cream, milk, or broth, depending on your preferences (cream tastes best). You could try using soy milk if you’re vegan and still want the nice creamy texture I’ve been describing. Blend it as you add the liquid so that it doesn’t separate. This way, you’ll end up with a light, smooth soup.

Dip. Fill a serving bowl with cold puree. Mix equal parts olive oil and your favourite pesto or tapenade (about a tablespoon each should be enough) and decorate the puree with the oil mixture. For this application, you want to make sure that the puree is well-seasoned with salt. Colder temperatures mute flavours, so the puree may taste unpleasantly bland if under seasoned.

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