2015 was a good year for cauliflower. And why not? A cousin of the cabbage family, the white curds go far in flavor, and can be eaten raw, grilled, baked, sautéed, fried, boiled or steamed, and can transform into soups, pickles, bakes and even a pizza-like dough base. So 2016 looks like it’s going to be another great year for cauliflower.
No longer put off to the side or placed on a large platter with other cut vegetables, the cauliflower is finally having its day in the sun in kitchens across America. Heads of cauliflower are even tricking some of the most devout carnivores as we home cooks continue to explore how to work them into our main course.
ABOUT THIS DISH
Salsa verde is both sweet from the roasted tomatillos and spicy from the chiles. We like to think of this dish as our low carb version of a cheesy chicken enchilada casserole.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 large yellow onion, thin half-moons
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets (approx. 4 cups)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
up to 1 1/2 cups salsa verde
2 cups diced chicken (or cut into thin strips)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions until they soften, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Add in the cauliflower, stirring to coat evenly with oil. Sauté just until the cauliflower begins to cook and brown, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to medium, mix in the garlic, stirring constantly to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Allow to cook until it becomes fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Carefully pour 1 cup salsa verde and add the chicken, stirring to evenly coat. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Adjust heat if necessary.
5. Stir in the heavy cream, cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If it is looking dry simply add more salsa verde.)
6. Pour the cauliflower/chicken mixture into a baking dish. Evenly distribute the cheese on top and bake at 375 until the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. (Optional: place under a broiler for the last 3 minutes for more browning.)