Meet the Market: Make the most of cauliflower


As a market and food enthusiast who frequently fielded questions from friends and neighbors on what to do with kohlrabi or tomatillos or how to approach tomatoes and cauliflower in exciting new ways, I thought other community members of the Fulton Farmers Market could benefit from this information, too.  Thus, the market’s “Veggie of the Week” column was born.  Throughout the season, we have featured a different veggie (or sometimes fruit!) on the market’s website and posted tips on how to take everyday veggies to a new level, along with tried and true recipes and FAQs.  

Here are instructions for how to roast a head of cauliflower and our favorite ideas on how to use this vegetable:  

To roast cauliflower, cut it into florets then drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Lay out on parchment paper on a sheet pan, taking care that you’re not crowding the florets.  Roast at 400 for 35-45 minutes until tender and starting to caramelize.  Eat them just like that, they’re delicious!  Or, you could dress them up with these ideas:

  • When you toss the florets with olive oil, add some freshly minced garlic and parmesan to the bowl then squeeze fresh lemon juice over it after the cauliflower has been roasted.  
  • Are you a bacon lover?  Try adding chopped thyme to your cauliflower before roasting then sprinkle the roasted cauliflower with chopped bacon and grated gruyere cheese
  • Make a quick vinaigrette with (for 1 head of cauliflower) 1 tbs lemon juice, 3 tbs olive oil, salt and pepper, 1 tsp chopped parsley and 1 tsp capers. Toss over the roasted cauliflower.
  • Add 1 tsp garam marsala, 1 tsp tumeric, ½ tsp yellow curry, ½ tsp ginger, ? tsp cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to your olive oil before roasting the florets for an easy Indian version of cauliflower.
  • Add wedged shallots to your sheet pan when roasting the cauliflower, then make a balsamic vinaigrette with (for one head of cauliflower) 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, the juice of a half an orange, 2 tbs olive oil, ½ tsp freshly minced thyme, ½ tsp of Beez Kneez honey, salt and pepper.  Then top with the zest of one orange.  You could also add walnuts to this for a heartier side dish.

Although the outdoor market season is winding down at the end of this month, the veggies are still plentiful and you can refer back to the archived columns and the ones still to come for fresh ideas on how to use your market finds.  Given that autumn is truly here, we’ll soon be showcasing how to use some of our favorite fall vegetables.  Stay tuned for ways to amp up root vegetables, like the odd-looking celeriac root, as well as what to do with all of the squash at the market.  

Becca Camacho, a somewhat newcomer to Minneapolis, is a former chef instructor and private chef who is thoroughly enjoying the Southwest Minneapolis community, including the Fulton Farmers Market.