Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cauliflower in Tomato Sauce

Here's a fairly quick and delicious cauliflower dish. It's quite versatile as well. You can eat it as a side dish. You can use it as a sauce for pasta (add some cheese or chickpeas to make it into a hearty main dish pasta). You can even use it as a sauce on simple grilled meats and fish. One of the nice things about cauliflower is it's very tolerant when it comes to cooking time. You can cook it a fairly long time, relative to many green vegetables, and it still tastes great. In fact, you can cook it to death and it makes a delicious puree. Like broccoli, it is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it's full of great nutrients.

Cauliflower in Tomato Sauce
(serves 6; total cost is $5.20)

1 ½ pounds cauliflower, about 1 medium head
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1-2 pinches crushed red pepper
20 oz. tomatoes, chopped (Roma or cherry) or 1 28 oz. can peeled tomatoes
½ cup water (omit if using canned tomatoes)
2 Tablespoons minced fresh basil or parsley
¾ teaspoon kosher salt

Cut the cauliflower in small florets. Chop the core and stems into small chunks.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saute pan with a cover. Add the onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Saute until onion is starting to brown on the edges, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes (and water if using fresh tomatoes) and reduce heat to maintain a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower, fresh herbs, and salt. Stir, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook for another 5 minutes.

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