In today’s Seasonal Pantry, which you can read here, I offer two recipes, Broccoli Cauliflower Salad with Pecans, Soft-Cooked Eggs and Warm Bacon Maple Vinaigrette and Cauliflower with Wild Rice and Brown Butter. Here are more recipes for cauliflower, one as a link and the others as text, as they appeared in columns before they were archived on the Web site. Actually, they appeared before we had a Web site.

What is your favorite way to enjoy cauliflower? Let us know in the comments section below.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Dijon Vinaigrette

To Blanch Cauliflower

To blanch cauliflower, first cut the cauliflower into separate florets and fill a medium to large pot half full with water. Add a tablespoon of salt to a small pot, 2 tablespoons to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, add the cauliflower and wait for the water to return to a boil. When it does, cook the cauliflower for 90 seconds if it is going to be cooked again and about 3 to 4 minutes if it will not be cooked again. Quickly drain, shake off excess water and either set aside or serve. You can cook broccoli and Brussels sprouts in the same way.

Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts with Pasta, Walnuts & Ricotta Salata • Serves 4 to 6

Both cauliflower and Brussels sprouts set a lot of people’s teeth on edge, a lingering prejudice formed by too many overcooked vegetables. Here, the offenders are cooked until they are just tender and then paired with salty ricotta salata and crunchy walnuts.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound capanelli (flower-shaped) or other medium pasta shape
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, in small pieces, blanched (see sidebar, this page)
  • 2 cups fresh Brussels sprouts, blanched and cut in half lengthwise
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 6 ounces ricotta salata, grated
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • Lemon wedges
  1. Fill a large pot two-thirds full with water, add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir until the water returns to a boil and cook according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium low heat, add the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep hot.
  3. When the pasta is just tender, drain it but do not shake off excess water and do not rinse it. But it in a large wide bowl, add the vegetables and remaining olive oil and toss gently.
  4. Add the cheese, parsley and several turns of black pepper, toss, scatter the walnuts on top, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

Capanelli with Cauliflower, Fontina and Dried Tomatoes  • Serves 3 to 4

You can, in any recipe that uses both cauliflower (or broccoli) and pasta, blanch the cauliflower and cook the pasta in the same water, as described here.

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons dried tomato puree or tapenade
  • 10 ounces capanelli or other small pasta shape
  • 4 ounces shredded (1 cup) Italian fontina
  • 3 tablespoons minced italian parsley
  • Black pepper in a mill
  1. Fill a large pot two-thirds full with water, add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Blanch the cauliflower in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Use a strainer to transfer the cauliflower to a wide shallow bowl, add the butter and tapenade and toss gently. Cover with a tea towel and set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta in the same pot according to package directions until just tender. Drain thoroughly, do not rise and add to the bowl with the cauliflower. Add the cheese and the parsley and toss until the cheese is melted. Taste, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Gemelli with Cauliflower and Tapenade  Serves 4 to 6

If you have tapenade on hand, this makes a great healthy and fast winter meal. Although I usually make this using black olive tapenade, it is also excellent with tapenades made of green olives or a mix of both.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound gemelli
  • 1 cup tapenade, commercial or homemade, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 1/2 cup (from about 1 small bunch) fresh minced Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets in small pieces, blanched until just tender, hot
  1. Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.
  2. When the pasta is just tender, drain it but do not shake off excess water and do not rinse it.
  3. Put it in a wide shallow bowl, add the tapenade and olive oil and toss gently but thoroughly.
  4. Add several turns of black pepper along with the parsley and cauliflower, toss quickly and serve.

Cauliflower & Broccoli with Mustard Cream • Serves 3 to 4

Dijon mustard, softened with creme fraiche, is an excellent condiment with both cauliflower and broccoli. Serve the vegetables hot and you have a perfect side dish, perfect with roasted chicken. Chill the vegetables and serve them with the sauce alongside and you have excellent winter crudites, a great appetizer.

  • 1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 to 3 large stalks broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche, plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced chives or Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper in a mill
  1. Blanch the cauliflower and broccoli in plenty of salted boiling water (see sidebar) until it is tender but not mushy. Drain, shake off excess water and put in a serving bowl.
  2. While the vegetables cook, make the sauce. Put the creme fraiche into a small bowl and stir it to loosen it; add the mustard and chives and stir until smooth. Taste, add salt if needed for balance, add several turns of black pepper and stir thoroughly.
  3. To serve, drizzle a few slashes of sauce across the vegetables and pass the remaining sauce alongside.

Pasta with Cauliflower, Green Onions, Olives, and Anchovies • Serves 4 to 6

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe by Deborah Madison, in her new book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Although I’ve added anchovies, which I think are particularly good with cauliflower, vegetarians can certainly omit them.  Similarly, the feta cheese I’ve added can be omitted or replaced by a milder cheese if you like.  Deborah recommends grated ricotta salad or Manchego in her version of this flavorful dish.

  •  1 pound dried pasta (medium-sized shapes, such as gnocchi, medium shells, etc.)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 bunch (about 10 to 12) green onions (scallions), trimmed and cut into thin rounds
  • 1 cup cracked green olives, pitted and sliced
  • 3 or 4 anchovy fillets (packed in oil), rinsed and minced
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into small dice (optional)
  1. Cook the pasta in rapidly boiling, salted water until it is just tender.  Drain thoroughly and place in a large serving bowl.
  2. While the pasta cooks, steam the broccoli over boiling water until just tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Drain thoroughly and place in a large mixing bowl.  Add the olives, anchovies, parsley, and olive oil. Toss and season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Pour the mixture over the hot pasta, add the feta, if using, toss again, and serve immediately.

Cauliflower Curry • Serves 4 to 6

 In Faye Levy’s International Vegetable Cookbook (Warner Books, 1993), Indian spices add both color and flavor to cauliflower.  Serve alongside roasted poultry or meat, or with traditional Indian curry and rice. This is my adaptation of Levy’s recipe.

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons mild olive oil or peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon (about 2-inches) freshly grated peeled ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro (optional)
  1. Cook the cauliflower in rapidly boiling salted water until just barely tender, 2 or 3 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet set over low heat.  Add the ginger and garlic and sauté just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the cumin and turmeric, stir to blend thoroughly, add the cauliflower, and toss to coat it thoroughly with the spices.  Add 1/4 cup of water, season with salt, cayenne pepper, and several turns of black pepper.  Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes.  If necessary, add more water, a tablespoon at a time, so that the spices do not burn.
  3. When the cauliflower is tender, taste, adjust the seasoning, and transfer to a serving dish.
  4. Scatter the cilantro over and serve immediately.