Cuckoo for Cauliflower

2006.Jun.23 Friday · 5 comments

in Food & Recipes

Buenos Aires – I love cauliflower, and I love finding new and interesting ways to serve it. I don’t know what it is about the vegetable, but it’s one of my favorites. Has been ever since Birdseye Cauliflower in Cheddar Cheese Sauce boil-in-the-bags. My tastes have changed over time, and I know tend to prefer slightly more sophisticated. I think. Maybe I should try the cheddar cheese sauce version again. Either way, when I ran across a recipe for Persian Cauliflower Kuku in a new cookbook, Silk Road Cooking, I had to give it a try. Now a kuku, as opposed to cuckoo, is a Persian dish that’s more or less a fancified omelette, or frittata, or pancake, or something in those lines.

I more or less followed the recipe in the book. However, I have to say, I think it’s wrong (the printed recipe, not the tradition, I’m just guessing a typo). Even while reading it, it just seemed like there was an awful lot of salt going into it (2 teaspoons plus whatever you use in the initial sauteing). And in the original recipe, it called for a salty cheese like parmesan. I used a light ricotta because it’s what I had in the house this morning, and even with that, and cutting back on the salt by about a quarter, it was too salty. So, the recipe I’m giving below cuts that back a bit further – and I’d say if you use parmesan, cut it back a bit more. There was also a bit too much cumin in it, so I cut back on that as well in the recipe below.

Cauliflower Kuku - sauteeing the ingredientsSauté a thinly sliced small red onion in a splash of olive oil and a pat of butter, with just a pinch of salt. Let it cook until limp and translucent. Add two cloves of chopped garlic, some chopped fresh parsley and basil (¼ cup), and the broken up florets of a small head of cauliflower (about 1½-2 cups, loosely packed). Season while cooking with 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of black pepper, ½ teaspoon of ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon each of paprika, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook, stirring regularly, for about ten minutes until the cauliflower is softened and lightly golden, the onions will probably be well-browned by that point.

Cauliflower KukuBeat together 6 eggs, ½ cup of milk, &#189 cup of cheese (I used ricotta, if you use a saltier cheese, cut back a little on the salt above), 1 tablespoon of flour, and ½ teaspoon of baking powder. Remove the cauliflower mixture from the heat, and pour the egg mixture over it, distributing evenly. Put in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden on top. Serve with a nice salad for a delicious lunch. Serves 4

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