Anything and everything you want to know about cauliflower will be covered in this podcast episode. I'm continuing my series of veggie spotlight with Amy Katz from Veggie Save the day so get ready to want more cauliflower in your life!
You can listen to this podcast episode below or listen on any of these podcast players - Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts. If you would prefer to read the text, you will find a transcript below.
Here is a transcript of the interview
Eric: Hey everybody, welcome to Eat, Shop, Waste, Not. We are excited today to have you listening to yet another episode in our Delightful Veggie Spotlight Series. And I have the delightful Amy here from Veggie Save the Day on the podcast here. We're glad to have you back for the fifth episode in this series now.
So welcome back, Amy.
Amy: Thanks, Eric. Sure.
Eric: Before we launch into that here, I want to give people a chance to get to know you a little more. So, um, why don't you share a fun, interesting fact about yourself before we get going?
Amy: Well, this is kind of unusual, I think, but when I was in preschool, I went to a Montessori school, and one of the things that we learned about were fresh vegetables, and I remember coming home from school and telling my mom all about how I got to try turnips, and I absolutely loved them. I remember we peeled them and ate them raw in the class and my mom took me to the supermarket and we bought turnips, which I don't think she'd ever bought before, but it's just one of those funny things that, you know, sometimes when you're introduced to different foods as a child, sometimes they really stick.
Amy: I actually still like turnips to this day. Um, if I can find some of the little Japanese turnips, then they're my go to.
Eric: I was going to say, this is probably easier to eat raw. Um, then they're like the big, the big ginormous ones.
Eric: All right. That's fun. All right. Good job for the school teaching about vegetables at an early age. I love that.
Amy: I knew it was very nice.
Eric: Then look at, look at you now, saving the day with them. Okay, so today we are going to talk about cauliflower and so I know that, you know, that this is, this is a vegetable that's been getting a lot of buzz in the last few years and people are finding Um, different fun ways to use it from like pizza crusts and, and all sorts of cauliflower rice and all sorts of, um, fun things, um, with this vegetable.
🌈 Different Colors of Cauliflower
So, um, the first thing I want to talk about when it comes to cauliflower, cause I can't resist, is finding all the different fun colors of cauliflower nowadays. I mean, it's just so super fun. I, I just love seeing those like vivid purple cauliflower and orange and green and like seeing all the kind of like, fun color besides the white. It's just like, they're just so pretty. Um, so I, I just absolutely love that so much.
My youngest daughter, whenever we have like multiple colors at same time and put them together, she calls it rainbow flower.
Amy: Oh, that's cute. I like that.
Eric: Now she's like, dad, can we have some rainbow flower? You know, I'm sure I have disappointed her when I come home and we just have white cauliflower, so not, not as exciting. Uh, but it's fun to see all this in the fall time is when I, you know, I see more cauliflower at farmer's markets.
Um, so as well as vegetables that grows best in cooler weather. So you have it kind of in the beginning of the year and then kind of like we get toward the end of the year, you get some really good cauliflower and I've seen like just, you know, massive heads of cauliflower, you know, that are like twice the size of my head.
Um, I love getting those at the farmers market, I've gotten them for like three, four bucks or something like that, and there's like so much cauliflower.
Amy: Yeah. That's a lot.
Eric: And, you know, I think most farmers markets nowadays, you're going to, you're going to find the different colors because they're attractive, you know, when you have those things on your table, you know, when someone's walking by, they're going to stop for a second and take, and take a look at that. They're going to walk up to your table. So I think it's great marketing, you know, um, to get, bring people up to see what you got when you got all these different colors.
So farmers do that. Um, so they are, um, so we're seeing, we're seeing more of that. I think what I'm excited about going on. The different colors. Um, and sometimes it's fun to have all the different colors at once. Like my daughter said, she loves when you have all different colors at once, but I'm often not gonna buy, you know, four ginormous heads of cauliflower at once.
Um, at the market here. So there was one market, um, right in your neck of the woods in Irvine, um, that there was a vendor there that was selling different colors of cauliflower, like all mixed together. So yeah, he'd already kind of like cut them up a bit. So I was able to like buy for her. That's where the rainbow flower thing started too.
Is when I came home with a big bag of like all the different colors all at once. And then she was like, that's where she got the rainbow flower.
Amy: Yeah, that's such a good idea.
Eric: That was awesome. They also had, I don't know if you've had this for, have you had Romanesco, Amy?
Amy: Yes, Romanesco's so fun. It's chartreuse and it's got those, it's a fractal shape. Um, that's really, really cool.
Eric: Yeah, this person also was still in the room and that's along with that kind of mix too. So uh, for those who haven't heard this before, yeah, so it's like this.
It is fractal shape is a great way to say it. It's very, it's very pretty, you know, it's very, um, geometrical. It's kind of pointy, which is nice because those pointy ends when you roast them get really crispy.
Eric: So, yeah, so you don't, you don't see it a whole lot. Um, I've seen the whole foods before. I mean, it's more, one of those farmer's markets things.
Amy: You know, I think it's getting more popular though, because I haven't seen it more in the last couple of years, but yeah, I usually buy it, um, at my local farm stand. And yeah, like you said, it's so good roasted, like with some garlic and like, I'll like toss it with some pasta with olive oil and it just makes a really nice dinner.
Eric: Yeah. And it cooks similar to, um, cauliflower. Really? I mean pretty much exactly the same way you cook cauliflower. You can cook that too. So if you find that, um, in a market and wonder, like, you know, what it is, cause I mean, you're going to notice, I mean, it stands out.
Amy: Oh, yeah, for sure.
Eric: I mean, it looks like it came from like an alien world or something here.
Amy: Yeah, that's a good description.
Eric: So that's why you should look out for and give it a try. Um, well, also I've seen more of now is like Trader Joe's. Now you can buy like a bag of mixed color cauliflower.
Amy: Oh, yeah.
Eric: The produce department, they have like a bag. You can buy that if they have it fresh. And then they also have it frozen.
Um, the frozen may have seasoning on it already. I'm not sure exactly. You just buy it fresh. If I buy it like that. Um, but that's another way. If you want to try all the different kind of multicolor thing, cause it's a really makes a really pretty dish. Um, I'll do that. Um, so yeah, so let's get into talk about cooking.
It's, um, you know, we're, we're definitely roasting. I mean,
🧂 Bold Flavors
Amy: Oh, yeah, you can't go wrong with roasting. Um, yeah, and one of my favorite ways to roast it is I toss it with some Dijon mustard and olive oil and garlic. And I roast it in the oven and it just gets a great flavor. Um, and, That's, you know, definitely one of my favorite ways to eat it, but I also sometimes roast it, um, kind of like a Mexican style dish where I'll put some sliced jalapeno peppers.
And, um, and then when it's done roasting, um, in the oven, then I'll sprinkle it with some fresh lime juice and toss in some cilantro. And that, that makes it really nice too.
Eric: Yeah. Oh, that's a, that's a really good. Yeah. It's fun that you can kind of mix it up, you know, it'd be, it's great. Just throw on the pain with the olive oil and stuff here, but yeah, you know, when you make it a lot, do some different things. I think that that Mexican style thing is great too.
I think the power of cauliflower, like it really. It really absorbs other flavors. I think pretty well, as opposed to like broccoli, you know, we kind of, kind of compare that to it at sometimes here, but I think like, you know, broccoli is something that's good. If, you know, it is better quickly cooked while cauliflower can kind of take the heat a little more, you know, so it can like take time and kind of absorb some flavors, you know, take some bold things like mustard.
It's a bold flavor and, you know, throwing mustard over here. I think like cauliflower is like really good at doing that.
Amy: Yeah. And speaking of that, um, you know, it really is kind of like a blank canvas, like you said. And so one of the things I like to do is make a vegan cauliflower ceviche. So the cauliflower takes the place of your fish or seafood. So what I do is I just, um, you know, boil the, or blanch the, the cauliflower, um, until it's just tender.
And then I let it, you know, cool it in some ice water and then pat it dry. And then I marinate it in, um, lime juice, red onions, uh, jalapeno. And you get those, the same flavors that you get from a traditional seafood ceviche. And the texture actually resembles, uh, fish or seafood. And in fact, I've brought the cauliflower ceviche to potlucks before, and some people thought it really was fish because, you know, it looks just the same because it's white, you know, and it, and, you know, in ceviche, you're not really tasting the fish so much. You're tasting more of the lime juice and the onions and the peppers. Um, so with the cauliflower, it's kind of the same way.
Eric: That's really, yeah, I love how you tricked them. I mean, obviously, you know, purple cauliflower probably caught on quicker, but, you know, yeah, that's really cool. That's a great kind of another great way to use, um, cauliflower. I haven't thought about that. That'd be fun too.
Eric: it looks really good.
Um, so what other great cauliflower recipes do you have for us?
🔪 Amy's Recipes
Amy: Yeah, yeah, I have a few. Um, so I do make, um, sometimes a cauliflower alfredo sauce. Um, so it's like a dairy free alfredo. And, um, a lot of times, you know, I do like to use like raw cashews in pasta sauces. But for someone who's looking for a lighter version or if they can't have nuts, um, you can make a great sauce with cauliflower.
So you just, you know, use, take the cooked cauliflower and you blend it up with some non dairy milk and lemon juice and some seasonings. And you know, it kind of gets that creamy. feel to it, but it's, you know, still really light and, you know, it's lower in calories, um, and fat if someone's, you know, looking for that kind of thing.
Cause I know we see a lot of like the cauliflower rice and the cauliflower pizza for people, not only that are gluten free, excuse me, but are also looking for something lighter. So this Alfredo sauce kind of has the same feel to it.
Eric: And when you make the sauce, like, how do you prepare the cauliflower first? Do you still, you ever roast it beforehand or do you just kind of like boil it off when you're
Amy: I, I usually just boil it, but you know, you certainly could roast it. Um, and that would give it even more flavor.
Eric: Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. The, I think that would help too, like, you know, cause that method, you'd probably also, you know, lose some moisture. So you might kind of like, it might make it like a little, maybe, maybe more a tighter sauce, possibly.
Amy: Yeah, that's true. That's a good idea.
Eric: Yeah. We've done that. Speaking of turnips and turnips right here, but I made like a, a turnip soup before. And we did it by, uh, roasting the turnips first because, and then that brought a lot more, you know, that kind of like roasty caramelized flavor to the actual soup. And then I think also it made, it did actually make it thicker too.
Like it, like it thickened up, um, a lot, you know, not like having to add like any additional, like, like flour or any type of like thickener like that.
Amy: right. Do you, um, ever make cauliflower soup?
Eric: Um, you know, I don't think I've made a cauliflower soup before. Not that I recall.
Amy: Yeah. I was just
Eric: You totally could, obviously.
Amy: Yeah, because I don't, I don't normally make cauliflower soup either, but I was just thinking when you mentioned the turnips, you know, I think roasting cauliflower and turning it into a pureed soup, I think that would be really delicious too.
Eric: Yeah, that'd be a great recipe, right now as we talk
Eric: Uh, what can we put in that then? So what, so else. What else would we do? We put in our cauliflower soup now.
Amy: Yeah. You know, I think it would be, um, if we made a smooth soup, I think it might be nice if we did a little bit of, of the different colored cauliflower, like little tiny pieces and roasted that and kind of garnish the soup and maybe with some fresh herbs, like, I don't know, which herb would you use maybe dill or,
Eric: Creamy soups go great with dill, I think that would be good.
Eric: All right. Wow. We have
Amy: yeah, I've got to try
Eric: We're talking to each other. Um, yeah, that sounds really good. Um, anything else you want to share about cooking cauliflower?
Amy: Um, you know, I do want to say cauliflower is good raw as well. Like, you know, you can use it when you're, you know, enjoying like some dips or hummus or something. Um, you know, it's, it's good dipped, um, like along with your. Typical carrots and celery um, but, um, you know, I also make a raw cauliflower salad and I do it kind of with the Greek flavors.
So it's got like tomatoes and cucumbers and some Kalamata olives. And that's really good too. As long as you don't mind the crunchiness. I actually really like the crunchiness, um, but some people have told me, well, you know, I still want to blanch the cauliflower first, so it's a little softer, but you know, that's just a personal preference, but either way, you could do it and turn it into a salad.
Eric: that's a great idea too. Yeah. Like, like I'm one that like, you know, the crutch thing, like for me, I get tired of it after a while. So I can't like eat like a ton of it. So like blanching it might be a good, good idea.
Amy: Yeah. Yeah.
Eric: All right, Amy. Thank you for coming on and sharing about cauliflower.
I hope you guys have been inspired. Um, I mean, no, we have already, cause we, we have cauliflower soup to make now. So
Amy: I know. I can't wait to try it.
Eric: thanks again for coming on.
Amy: Yeah. Thanks, Eric.
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Here are the links to Amy's recipe using cauliflower.