Thursday, November 4, 2010


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A member of the Brassicaceae family, Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that is loaded with nutrients. It is low in fat, high in fiber and vitamin C. It also possesses several beneficial phytochemicals, including the anticancer, antidiabetic compound sulforaphane. Cauliflower is also a great source of indole-3-carbinol, which boosts DNA repair in cells.

Local cauliflower can be purchased at Schenectady Greenmarket (Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), the Troy Farmers Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), and the Saratoga Farmers Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Look for compact heads that are evenly white, with no spotting or browning. To cut into florets, place the head sideways on a cutting board and cut through the leafy lower stem. Remove any excess leaves and place the cauliflower flat on the cutting board. Cut the head into quarters from top to bottom. Each quarter should have florets attached to a central stem. Cutting at an angle from top to bottom, remove the central stem, freeing the florets.

Mashed Cauliflower
(A great alternative to mashed potatoes)
1 head cauliflower
0.25 Cup, grated Parmesan
0.25 Cup, heavy cream
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tablespoon butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Note: This recipe is cooked in the microwave to help preserve the nutritional value of the cauliflower. If you prefer, you can boil or steam your cauliflower instead.

Clean and cut the cauliflower into small pieces. Place the florets in a large, microwave safe bowl and wrap with plastic wrap. Cook on high for 3 to 4 minutes, stir, and continue to cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. A fork should pass through the cauliflower with little resistance when they are done.

Place the cooked cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor and add all of the remaining ingredients. Pulse until the consistency resembles mashed potatoes. This recipe can be adjusted to suit your tastes. Season to your desire.

Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes, Capers, and Feta

Make this light entrée a day ahead, then broil just before serving.

Ingredient List
Serves 4
1 lb. medium-sized cauliflower florets
2 tsp. olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 14.5-oz. can low-sodium chopped tomatoes
2 Tbs. drained capers
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (1 1/2 oz.)
1 1/2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill


1. Steam cauliflower 4 to 6 minutes in steamer basket, or until tender.
2. Preheat broiler. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat; add onion and garlic, and cook 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and capers, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 7 minutes. Spread tomato mixture in 2-qt. gratin dish, top with cauliflower, and sprinkle with feta.

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