There's a couple things you should know about everyone's favorite cruciferous veggie.
We could argue all day long about whether or not cauliflower is still having “a moment,” or if it’s SO 2012, but either way, there’s no avoiding that we’re all still really into it. If Trader Joe’s is having to ration its pre-portioned cauliflower rice, then you better believe that there must be something that keeps pulling us back to this cruciferous veggie. That said, in order to get the most for your money and your time, we need to have a serious talk about cauliflower mistakes that a cauliflower novice might be prone to make. Even if you’re no stranger to the cauli-lifestyle (not to be confused with the Cali-lifestyle, although both are very hip and trendy), we’ve gathered some of the most common blunders so that you can further strengthen your already close-knit relationship with cauliflower.
You’re Not Peeling the Stalk
As much as we’re down with cutting back on food waste as much as possible, there are some parts of the vegetable that you’re way better off without. If you’re planning on roasting it, go ahead and peel the stalk before you cook it. This way, it’s much less bitter and way more palatable when it comes time to chow down.
You’re Overdoing It
Cauliflower has slowly evolved into that token veggie that holds a very large place in the heart of many carb-fearing eaters. While we totally support you in your endeavors to scale back on calories and/or carbohydrates, it’s important to keep in mind that brassicas in general make your tummy feel funny (poetic, I know). Keep an eye on portions because if you find yourself getting carried away, you’re bound to feel it later, in the worst way possible.
You’re Not Pickling It
Although cabbage and cucumbers typically steal the show for most pickle-able veggies, why not turn the spotlight to our friend, cauliflower? Pickle it on it’s own, or throw it in a kimchi mixture for a gut-healthy, delightfully tangy condiment.
You’re Sautéing It
Listen, there’s nothing inherently wrong with sautéing it, but let’s just say, it’s not your best cooking option. Because the florets do not have any flat surfaces, it’s hard to get all the sides to hit the hot pan and create a nice, crispy char. Thus, you’re looking at a vegetable that’s more-than-likely cooked unevenly (sad!). Opt for roasting in a convection oven for a much more even cooking experience. If sautéing is a must, consider “par-baking” the cauliflower florets by steaming them first, so that they’re fully cooked through.
You’re Not Working in Batches
When Making Cauliflower Rice This one is a gamechanger. If you’ve ever tried to make your own homemade cauliflower rice in a food processor, you may have experienced some hardships in getting those florets to be pulsed down into finer crumbles. The key here is to only add a handful of florets to your processor at a time, thus not overwhelming the blade. Yes, working in batches is a royal pain in the a$$, but it’s going to end up being quicker this way than if you try to stuff a whole head in the bowl of food processor and try to beat it to death. Also, that’s really aggressive, so like, relax.
You’re Not Adding It to Hummus
Even though we’re firm believers that you don’t need to fix anything that isn’t broken, we’d just like to throw it out that there that a little cauliflower in your next batch of homemade hummus goes a long way. It’s lighter, still creamy, and super delicious.
You’re Not Draining It
Homemade cauliflower crust gets a bad reputation because it is oftentimes unable to support the pizza that resides on top of it. The fix is that you need to drain out all of the moisture from your cauliflower before you even think about mixing it up into a pizza crust. Because such a high percentage of this veggie is nothing more than good ol’ H2O, you’ve got to dehydrate it so that it’s able to mimic flour in this clever carbohydrate substitution. Grab a clean dish towel, throw your fine crumbles of cauliflower into it, and start wringing. The amount of water that will come running out will equally surprise and disgust you. Trust us, it’s all worth it in the end.