Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a recipe for painted cauliflower?

i talk to my mom every sunday.  i live in napa, my mom and dad live in southern california and we only see each other a few times a year. so we have long (1 1/2 - 2 hours) chats each week.  we cover what we each did for the week, my mom fills me in on the family happenings and we talk food...always food.  my mom tells me what she made for the week and how she made it...i do the same, each of us in great detail.  we share meals we ordered at restaurants...or what was served at luncheons or dinner parties and we always discuss what we are cooking for dinner that night.  sunday dinner has always been a very important meal in our family.
i fell in love with the color of this purple cauliflower, but you can use any kind for this dish
my dad often exclaims, "how can you guys talk so long...don't you run out of things to say?"  i always think that is a strange question.  if i were visiting my parents we could talk all day long without taking a break.  anyway, during these conversations about food we usually start reminiscing about recipes my mom made when my sisters and i were children.  most of them she makes to this day, but every now and then we rediscover an old favorite. 
roasted cauliflower and garlic

yesterday, i told her it was cauliflower week at fallfest and i was still considering what to write about.  last year i posted my very favorite cauliflower recipe, roasted cauliflower and garlic.  you really must click over and then try this recipe...delicious!  plus i shared a number of nutrition facts for this very healthy vegetable from the braccicas family.  my mom reminded me of her "painted cauliflower" dish.  this recipe was in a cookbook included with the first microwave she ever bought.  back then, microwaves were so new that people did not not how to use them!  the cauliflower dish became a family favorite.
the melted cheese hides the cauliflower, but the recipe is so delicious i included the photos

the original recipe just called for mayo, cauliflower and cheese.  i like adding dijon mustard and some heat to the "paint".  this dish is called painted cauliflower because you kind of "paint" the mayo on the vegetable.  also, the cookbook version instructs to microwave the cauliflower first and then again when you add the mayo and cheese.  i tweaked the process and used the broiler for the last step...i like the texture better.  but feel free to clean one less dish by microwaving the cheese step too. i used the purple cauliflower for the photo shoot because i thought the color was so beautiful and because of the "painted" name.  white cauliflowers are just as delicious...and probably easier to find!   oh...and if you want to gild the lily a bit, top the finished dish with crumbled bacon!! 

painted cauliflower
1 whole cauliflower
1 cup mayonnaise (i use vegenaise, a vegan version that i think tastes even better than mayo)
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
pinch coarse sea salt
pinch black pepper
(crumbled bacon, optional)

place cauliflower in a medium sized bowl and cover with plastic wrap. microwave on high 8-15 minutes or until tender. (time varies based on size of cauliflower, mine took 15 min...check after 8 minutes and keep checking in 2 min intervals...test by piercing stem with sharp paring knife.)  remove from microwave and pour off any accumulated liquid.  place cauliflower stem side down on small rimmed baking sheet.

preheat broiler.
combine mayonnaise, mustard and cayenne pepper in small bowl. use a knife to "paint" mixture over cauliflower.  sprinkle with the shredded cheese. sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika over top of cheese.  broil 1-2 minutes until cheese melts. (watch carefully so cheese does not burn.) serve immediately.

now it is your turn to participate in fall fest. simply leave your cauliflower tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below, and then go visit food network and do the same same. join the conversation on twitter at #cookingwith and be sure to check out these delicious sounding recipes from the other participating bloggers:
The Sensitive Epicure: Cauliflower Souffle
Haute Apple Pie: Cauliflower and Chicken Gratin
CIA Dropout: Cauliflower Squash Soup With Creme Fraiche
Daily*Dishin: Tender Roasted Cauliflower
Virtually Homemade: Cumin Crusted Beef Tenderloin With Cauliflower Puree
What's Gaby Cooking: Cumin Roasted Cauliflower
Thursday Night Dinner: Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower
Cooking Channel: 4 Ways to Cook Cauliflower
FN Dish: Roasted Cauliflower 5 Ways
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Cauliflower Soup With Sharp Cheddar and Thyme
Dishin & Dishes: Cauliflower Gratin


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style™ "

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