4

AndyTalk: The Winning Combo of Cauliflower and Mayonnaise

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

See also: AndyTalk: Why Would Anyone Eat (Stinky Mushy) Brussels' Sprouts?

Cauliflower is a great vegetable. It's also greatly underutilized. Maybe cauliflower's size and whiteness are intimidating, but its hugeness actually contributes to the success of my recipe for Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower.

Slow cooking at a low temperature facilitates caramelization. Small cauliflower florets just don't have the heft to withstand an hour in the oven. While the oven preheats I trim any leaves and blemished spots from a whole cauliflower. I like to soak it in hot tap water for 5 to 10 minutes. This warms it up and also brings to the surface any hidden critters. I know - eeew -- but things that grow outside can harbor a hidden bug or two, and I prefer to find them before cooking.

The next step is to pat the cauliflower dry and place it in a baking dish. I pour a half a cup of water in the dish so that at the early stages in the oven the cauliflower steams a little. This helps warm the center, which facilitates even cooking.

Next I stir together mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Mayo makes a great coating for vegetables. I've made the cauliflower rubbed with olive oil and I've made it with butter. Mayonnaise is, hands-down, the best way to coat the cauliflower. Basically mayonnaise is whipped oil. It sticks to the cauliflower. It holds the Parmesan and salt and pepper in place while in the oven. It browns and bubbles, and becomes as good as the crisp edges in a pan of scalloped potatoes.

I start spreading the mayonnaise on the cauliflower with a spoon, but I always end up getting to the nooks and crannies with my fingers. It comes out best if the entire surface is covered.

All of the above takes about ten minutes. The cauliflower cooks in a 325 degree oven until a knife glides in and the surface is brown. Depending on the size of the cauliflower this is an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes.

Ideally the cauliflower rests outside the oven for 10 minutes before serving, but I've been known to remove a slice immediately - for personal use.

Andy Broder is the chef/owner of AndyFood, A Culinary Studio.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook , Twitter, and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.