Although cauliflower is available year-round, I consider it to be a seasonal vegetable, best in the fall and winter either roasted or sautéed.
Which brings me to one of its peskiest problems: people who hate cauliflower have probably eaten it overcooked, when it literally stinks. For this reason I never boil cauliflower, preferring instead the aforementioned cooking methods.
I adapted this recipe from the weekly handout that members receive at Weight Watchers meetings. WW’s recipe developers have been coming up with some pretty innovative ideas lately, like a farro salad with grapes, radicchio and a sweet/tangy Dijon dressing that reminded me more of Bon Appetit than Weight Watchers.
The grape tomatoes lend a sweet note to the garlicky cauliflower, making this simple combination a very appealing side dish with chicken or fish.
Not one to leave well-enough alone, son-in-law Brendan later turned this into a main course pasta by combining the cauliflower and tomatoes with ricotta cheese and Parmesan and serving it with linguine for last night’s dinner. The lily was properly gilded.
Sautéed Cauliflower and Tomatoes
4 t. extra-virgin olive oil
One head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/4 c. water
1 pint (2 cups) grape tomatoes, halved
1 T. minced garlic
3/4 t. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
In a large skillet heat 3 t. olive oil on medium-high heat and add cauliflower. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally and adding a tablespoon or two of water if needed, until cauliflower is becoming browned in spots and is almost tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add remaining 1 t. olive oil to skillet with tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until tomatoes soften and cauliflower is tender, about 3 minutes.
Serves 4 (each serving is about 1 cup)