Friday, April 23, 2010

Caulifower Toastie

There are not many people with an affinity for cauliflower . Try as you may , that it is a long lost cousin of the broccoli , you will still struggle to win over any friends . However , one of the buzz words for healthy eating , high in anti oxidants and a good fighter against cancer is anything from the cruciferous family - and I believe cauliflower falls in that catergory .

I grew up eating steamed cauliflower with a simple adornment of freshly squeezed lemon juice and only the best extra virgin olive oil . A spectacularly simple and delicious side dish , that I still enjoy to this day .

As the quest of motherhood came upon me and raising little gourmets followed close at hand , I have pondered many ways of how to introduce this wonderful vegetable to the family . Then I remembered reading about this simple and unusal take on cauliflower , from a book that escapes my memory. It is a fusion of steamed caulifower florets, some mayonnaise, good dijon mustard, tiny little cubes of celery and red onion and freshly ground pepper and a sprinkle of salt.

One day , with much trepadition , I purchased a beautiful white head of cauliflower, came home, and with much aplomb cut off the florets and proceeded to steam them ,until fork tender .You add to this a fusion of
aromatics ,toast some nice hearty whole wheat bread, pita or sourdough bread and proceed to slather on this delicious spread . You can also elevate this to super health food snack ( thus momentarily forgetting the much maligned use of mayonnaise ) by topping the delight with some grated carrot and sprouts.

I must confess that I have yet to serve it with these accroutements , to my immediate family - as we at baby step stage - when we reach toddler stage Iwill break out the frills and spills.

But more importantly , I was completely floored when the family scoffed this down without a second of hesitation . I am still in recovery - I was expecting resistance from my little little gourmet - more like downright refusal- and to my complete delight she thoroughly enjoyed eating it like this . Needless to say my little gourmet cannot eat enough of this - I am sure she will be the first to embrace the accroutements as mentioned above . And daddy enjoyed it also - he falls in the slot just before my little little gourmet when it comes to pickiness ..... somehow this dish has won everyone over .

It is not a dish with exact measurements, it is made with a little bit of this and little bit if that and commonsense .

I urge you all to give this  a try and I am sure you will in wover fervent haters of cauliflower and it will become a staple, quick , go to meal/snack for your family and friends .

Cauliflower Toastie
a recipe inspred by a book that escapes my memory !

1 head of cauliflower - florets only
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard - or to taste
1 stalk celery - diced
1/2 scant cup red onion - diced
small handful of chived - fine dice ( optional)
salt and freshly ground pepper
whole wheat breat or pita - toasted

Cut florets from the cauliflower head and steam to fork tender.

Meanwhile ,clean and wash a stalk of celery , then cut down the length of the celery long strips and then crosswise into very small dice . Fine dice your onions and fresh chives if you are using them . Place all the ingredients in a large bowl , add the mustard and about 1/2 cup of mayonnaise - to begin with .

Once the cauliflower is cooked , remove from the steamer and place on a chopping board to cool down , at this point you can also start to roughly chop through the cauliflower - this will accelerate the cooling down process .

Once it has cooled down enough - you can then mash it with a fork or continue to finely chop it with a kitchen knife . Add the cooled cauliflower to the rest of the ingredients in the bowl .

Do not add the caulifower to bowl , steaming hot as it will make the mayonnaise go runny and par cook the onion and celery and the mix will not have the crunch it needs .

If you see that the mayonnaise is not enough - just add more so that it coats the cauliflower but does not swim in it .

Toast some of your favourite bread or Pita - or you can even enjoy it with some Wasa Crispbreads.

This can be enjoyed at room temperature or kept in the fridge and enjoyed cold as well .

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