MON PETIT CHOU-FLEUR, Literally translated this phrase means “my little cauliflower,” which is a French term of endearment for “my little darling.” You can use it endearingly when referring to your precious family, friends, pets, or your favorite and one of the most versatile vegetables, cauliflower.
Is there anything cauliflower can’t do? Cauliflower is a member of the mustard family (genus Brassica) along with cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and turnips and is a cruciferous vegetable. When added to the diet 1–2 times per week, cruciferous vegetables claim to have a role in cancer prevention providing detox support and vitamins C and K.
Followers of the Paleo diet have learned to use the versatile cauliflower as a healthy substitute for rice, potatoes and pasta. I have sampled Paleo versions of cauliflower pizza crusts, rice, bread sticks, mac and cheese, hummus and mashed potatoes. The cauliflower provides structure and bulk, while proving that it can add velvety texture and adapt to the addition of many flavors such as mashed cauliflower, rather than potatoes, with roasted garlic and chives.
The French have long understood how to impress guests with the classic French dish known by its original name: purée de chou-fleur. Traditionally used as a bed for serving roasted meats, in lieu of potatoes, it also makes a great side dish sans meat.
This dish is a huge crowd pleaser, even among folks who aren’t enthusiastic cauliflower eaters. A handful of grated cheese, a dash of milk or cream, a sprinkle of nutmeg—add whatever strikes your fancy. For inspiration, just think of all the ways you like to embellish mashed potatoes.
No mention of cauliflower is complete without mentioning my powerful healing cauliflower soup. So here it is again for you to share and spread the healing powers. Enjoy!
Powerful Healing Cauliflower Soup
I love to share this soup with friends who are ill. I firmly believe that it has magical healing powers to ward off whatever ails you…and they do too. Believe!
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 carrot grated
1 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup flour
6 cups chicken stock
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
2 tablespoons parsley
Salt and pepper
Pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon thyme
4 green onions chopped
1/4–1/2 cup heavy cream
Melt butter in heavy soup pot. Sauté onions, carrot and celery. Sprinkle with 1/4-cup flour and stir until combined and well cooked. Slowly whisk in hot chicken stock. Add cauliflower florets, parsley, salt and pepper, cayenne, thyme and bring to boil. Cook rapidly for 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender. Either mash softened cauliflower with a spoon until creamy or remove cauliflower from the broth and puree in Cuisinart until creamy. Add pureed cauliflower back to broth in pot. Simmer. Slowly whisk in cream and garnish with chopped green onions. Bon Appetit!