11 cauliflower recipes that prove it’s more than just a side dish

A mash up of delicious cauliflower dishes.

With loads of unexpected health benefits, you would be forgiven for thinking cauliflower earns the right to be sold in the health food section. 

Finally recognised as the food hero it really is, recipes for everything from cauliflower pizza to cauliflower steaks, cauliflower rice and spicy cauliflower bakes are flooding our feeds, as foodies are revisiting this unpretentious vegetable anew.

Health benefits of cauliflower

Cauliflower boasts a long list of health benefits such as  helping fight inflammation with antioxidants, lessens heart and circulatory system issues, lowers cancer risks, supplying vitamin K to the body, improving digestion and detoxifying the body, supporting healthy weight loss, boosting brain health, keeping hormones in check, supporting healthy pregnancy and boosting the immune system for starters.

Cauliflower dip served with toasted bread
Roasted cauliflower dip served with lightly toasted bread. (Credit: Photography: Cath Muscat | Styling: John Mangila)

How to pick the perfect cauliflower

  • Choose firm compact heads, avoid soft or separated flowers
  • Avoid flowers with black mouldy spots
  • Stem should be green without any dried, brown leaves

7 easy ways to cook cauliflower

1. Cauliflower couscous

Process florets in the food processor until they form couscous like grains. Steam or fry as an alternative to rice or any carbohydrate. It can even be a substitute for rice when making fried rice.

2. Pokè bowls

In its raw state, it is great in salads and pokè bowls. Another alternative is to create a buffalo cauliflower salad by marinating florets in your favourite hot sauce before roasting them in the oven. Then toss with kale, tahini ranch and chickpeas to create a hearty, protein-packed lunch.

Buffalo cauliflower salad
Food writer Leah Vanderveldt shares her recipe for a buffalo cauliflower and chickpea poke bowl. (Credit: Photography: Clare Winfield)

3. Cauliflower steak

Cut straight through cauliflower head into 2cm thick steaks, rub with oil and ground fennel and cumin seeds and roast on baking paper lined trays.

4. Roast cauliflower salad

Combine roast cauliflower florets pan-seared vegetables and haloumi to create a wonderful winter salad. Seasoned and oiled florets roast well at 220C for about 15-20 minutes.

Cauliflower and haloumi salad
(Credit: Photography: Cath Muscat)

5. Cauliflower pizza

Cauliflower can be made into pizza crusts and tortillas.

6. Cauliflower soup

Make into a beautiful creamy cauliflower soup. We love this cauliflower and parsnip soup that can be made using either chicken or vegetable stock. 

Cauliflower soup
(Credit: Photography: John Paul Urizar)

7. Spicy cauliflower florets

Toss tiny florets in olive oil and Mexican spice mix and roast. Serve in mini soft taco’s with all the trimmings and toppings as an alternative to meat.

8. Whole roasted cauliflower

Nothing says cauliflower is more than just a side dish than roasting it whole. In this whole roasted cauliflower recipe, fragrant spices coriander, cumin, garlic and salt combine to form a delicious rub that penetrates the dish as it bakes. 

Roasted cauliflower recipe
(Credit: Photography: Cath Muscat)

9. Cauliflower sauce served with brown butter carrots

Serve vegetables with a side of cauliflower sauce. This brown butter carrots recipe is served with a delicate cauliflower sauce that is made with just four ingredients: cauliflower, milk, garlic and butter. 

10. Cauliflower dip

Did you know you can turn cauliflower into a dip? Bake large florets in the oven before them blending down and seasoning with salt, pepper and hot paprika. Delicious, especially when served with lightly toasted bread.

11. Cauliflower macaroni and cheese

Cauliflowers are the perfect addition to a traditional mac and cheese recipe. Food writer Louise Keats recreates this classic dish for the Thermomix, making it more convenient and tasty than ever!

Cauliflower macaroni and cheese
Food writer Louise Keats puts a nutritious twist on a classic favourite: macaroni and cheese. (Credit: Wholefood Child by Louise Keats)

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