Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cauliflower....the often overlooked vegetable!

Hello everyone. Hope this fine fall day finds everyone happy and healthy. It's a blessing to be on vacation, but then you have to go back to real life. In real life breakfast buffets don't automatically show up on my counter, and no one is waiting to pour me a glass of fine California wine while I peruse the crudite table at 5 PM. But there is something nice about settling back into the old routine, sleeping in your own bed, and cuddling with your pets while you watch TV. Even getting  back to a normal routine of eating is good for me. I put on a few lbs while vacationing, but I recommited myself as soon as I returned. For me that means writing down and measuring everything that goes in my mouth. The funniest thing is, what's in my memory, often isn't what went in my belly! I found this out by tracking. Turns out I am most likely eating more than I thought. Imagine that?

So I have been hearing all of this talk about cauliflower pizza crust and mashed cauliflower. I decided to make a mashed version the other night. I used a food network recipe, but of course I was missing ingredients, so I modified it. I topped it with a delicious recipe for seared sea scallops that I have. It was gourmet restaurant quality yummy, if I do say so myself! Here's the cauliflower recipe with some adaptations that I made. The scallop recipe with my adaptations is below. If you like scallops I think you will really love this recipe. It felt really sinful to eat and was comforting and delicious. Cauliflower you are my new veggie hero!!!

Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
 Bring a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.
Clean and cut cauliflower into small pieces and add to pot. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool.
In a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, butter, salt and pepper until almost smooth.

So if this wasn't good enough, I topped this with a wonderful seared scallop recipe that I have.

Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach
  1. 2 slices of bacon chopped
  2. 1 small onion or 2 large shallots finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves chopped
  4. one large container of baby spinach, chopped
  5. 1-2 tsp soy sauce ( I used 1)
  6. salt and pepper
  7. 1 lb large sea scallops - dry, not in preservative
  8. extra virgin olive oil
  9. 1 tbs butter
  10. 1 medium tomato seeded and diced
In large skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Spoon off all  but about 2 tbs of fat.  Add the onion or scallions to skillet and saute until softened and slightly brown. Add the garlic and stir until tender, about 2 minutes, but not brown. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft. Add the spinach and toss with the mixture. Cover and cook over very low heat until the spinach wilts. Add the soy sauce and cook a few minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
Remove the side muscle from the scallops ( this is what they attach to the shell with, and it is tough. Just peel it off with your fingers). Make sure the scallops are very dry ( pat with paper towel if needed). Season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet with olive oil just till smoking hot. Add the scallops and reduce the heat to moderate. Don't touch and let the scallops cook about 3 minutes until golden seared on the bottom. Flip over in pan and cook on the other side. Add the butter at this point and spoon some butter over the tops while they are cooking for approx 3 more minutes.
Spoon a nice mound of the cauliflower on a plate. Top with the spinach mixture and then with the scallops. Bon Appetit!

Thought for the day: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
~ Dr. Seuss


  1. Pattie, that recipe looks SO delicious! I think I'm going to have to try it. See, we really can eat gourmet on the BFC!!

  2. I can't imagine eating cauliflower, but I never thought I would eat spinach! I don't know that I have ever had a scallop either. Isn't that bizarre? I have spent my life eating burgers and fries:)
    I'm proud of you for finding new ways to make this more palatable and friendly to your real life. You can do it!!!
    I hope you will have more time to concentrate on you soon. It sounds like once you get the new gals up and going you may just have Pattie time again! Good luck!!!

  3. I love mashed cauliflower I'm thinking of bringing it to Thanksgiving as a mashed potato alternative. During the weekend I made a cauliflower gruyere soup that was delish. I also love roasted cauli.

    Have a wonderful rest of your week :)

  4. YUMMY!! I will have to try this too!!

  5. I love the mashed cauliflower, and the scallops sound good too.
    Have a great day :-)

  6. I just tried the mashed cauliflower the other day and it wasnt bad. I have never tried scallops since I am not a big seafood lover but hey gotta try things once right. Your dish looks like you belong on the food network too.

  7. Looks wonderful! I think it's time to try the mashed cauliflower..