(Cauli) Flower Power

16 Mar

I continue to explore new and different ways to prepare the same ol’ veggies. And by being open-minded, I tried a recipe that seemed a little sketchy. I found this unique preparation for a whole cauliflower in the The New York Times Cookbook (1961) by Craig Claiborne. I actually make a similar preparation – taught to me by my late great-aunt, Nellie. For that version, I microwave the whole cauliflower until tender and then “frost” it with a white sauce and sprinkle with dried bread crumbs and grated Cheddar Cheese and run it under a broiler until the cheese melts. From this recipe I discovered boiling a whole cauliflower is a better preparation. The cauliflower was just the right texture and full-flavored thanks to the salt and lemon juice. Don’t think I will ever microwave that veggie again! Polonaise refers to any dish topped with breadcrumbs and chopped hard-cooked egg! Highly recommend this recipe!

Cauliflower Polonaise

Trim the cauliflower, removing outer leaves and part of the core and cutting off any blemishes. Score the core with a knife to facilitate cooking. Place in a kettle of boiling salted water to cover and add one teaspoon of lemon juice. Cover and simmer 25 to 35 minutes, or until just tender when tested with a fork. Do not overcook. Drain. Place in a serving dish and cover lightly with ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs that have been browned in two tablespoons butter. Sprinkle with one tablespoon chopped hard-cooked egg and one teaspoon chopped parsley.

This classic NY Times Cookbook is still available online and in bookstores.

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