Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cauliflower Casserole

Revised and Updated January 2020

I love cauliflower, all by itself, raw with dip, steamed with butter, salt and pepper, topped with cheese sauce, or in this Cauliflower Casserole, one of my family's favorites.

Did you know?
Cauliflower belongs to the plant species called Brassica oleraceaThis species includes other common vegetables like kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. Believe it or not, all of these come from the cultivation of one single plant — the wild cabbage. Through the ages, farmers have selectively bred the plant for specific traits that they wanted to see more of. In the end, the wild cabbage split into the different varieties we enjoy today.
This is how the artificial selection went down:
  • A preference for larger leaves = kale
  • More tightly bunched leaves = modern-day cabbage
  • Thicker stems = kohlrabi
  • Larger lateral buds = Brussels sprouts
  • Larger immature buds = cauliflower (and later, broccoli)
The stems and leaves are edible. The florets are the part of the cauliflower most often steamed or roasted (but can also be eaten raw or pickled), but don’t throw out the leaves and stems. These parts of the vegetables are often tossed in the compost but instead, cut down on food waste and save them to add them to homemade vegetable broth.

This versatile vegetable can be "riced" in a food processor and served as a rice substitute or cooked and mashed for a potato substitute, roasted, fried, grilled and steamed.

1 small head fresh cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 tsp mustard
½ cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp melted butter

Mix cauliflower florets, celery, onion, soup, mustard, milk and shredded cheese in a bowl until blended. Pour into casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. 

Mix melted butter with bread crumbs and sprinkle on top. 
Bake, uncovered, in a 350 oven 30-45 minutes or until bubbly. Delicious!


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