There are many ways to transform and disguise veggies. You can spiralize zucchini and make veggie noodles. Have you heard about “ricing” cauliflower? What looks like rice on the plate, is actually cruciferous vegetables made with cauliflower. Cool!
Ricing fresh cauliflower using the food processor is simple to do. The whole head of cauliflower, including stems and florets, is pureed in the food processor. You turn chunks of cauliflower into rice instantly and effortlessly. There is very little waste using this method. If you don’t have a food processor, a grater would work just fine.
It’s fresher, faster and cheaper, in my opinion, to make riced cauliflower at home than getting a bag from the store, like Trader Joe’s. Don’t get me wrong, I like shopping at Trader Joe’s. In fact, I discovered the riced cauliflower on the fresh produce shelf there. It is one of the latest food developments.
Eating vegetables raw may not be your cup of tea. However, do give it a try. You’d be quite surprised that the riced cauliflower has great appeal. They are incredibly crunchy, yet fluffy, with a fairly neutral and pleasant flavor. Peanuts and the Asian-style dressing used in this recipe are the sidekicks. They impart a distinctive savory flavor to the plain cauliflower layered on the canvas. This dish is perfect as a side and holds up well in the lunchbox.
I ate several bowls of this in one seating. I didn’t mind the extra helpings since they were veggies, and not real rice or carb. My husband almost finished the rest of the dish (intended for 4 to 6) by himself. He liked his riced cauliflower with dashes of chili powder and loads of fresh herbs: basil, mint and cilantro.
I’m glad I tried my hand on raw riced cauliflower. I-heart-cooking-clubs (IHCC) got me thinking more about raw food. IHCC’s project of the week is to feature something raw from the repertoire of its current featured chef, Huge Fearnley-Whittingstall. It’s a worthwhile, tasty and fun exercise.
According to Huge Fearnley-Whitingstall: “The character of a vegetable is often totally different uncooked, so raw veg are a great way to expand your culinary repertoire. If you don’t like it boiled, roasted or fried, that does not mean you won’t like it raw: peas, carrots, beetroot, broccoli and spinach, say, are all so very different in their raw state that it’s always worth offering them to those who are not usually a fan. Explore the raw and you’ll pretty much double your vegetable vocabulary.”
I absolutely like the expansion of my vegetable vocabulary.
Riced Cauliflower with Peanuts and CilantroPrint Recipe
- 1 small to medium cauliflower (around 700g), untrimmed
- Lime juice
- About 50g roasted, unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium bunch coriander, or cilantro, basil, mint, picked
- A few sesame seeds (optional)
- For the dressing:
- ⅓ garlic clove
- Sea salt and ground black pepper
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 tsp freshly grated root ginger
- 1½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 1½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
Trim the leaves and most of the stalk from the cauliflower, and cut the florets into small pieces. Put these in a food processor and process until very finely chopped and a little like fluffy white grains. Transfer to a bowl.
For the dressing, crush the garlic with a pinch each of salt and sugar, and combine with the ginger, vinegar, oil and soy sauce.
Pour the dressing over the cauli, stir and season to taste. Add a squeeze of lime, scatter over the peanuts, coriander and sesame seeds, if using, and serve.
Adapted from Huge Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage website.