Cauliflower is not easy to love. So if I want Mingus and Beluga to savor it, I need to amp up the flavor. My plan is to entice the boys with shocking yellow, bestowed by a sizable amount of turmeric, and balance the texture of crumbly cauliflower with sweet chewy cranberries.
We steam the whole cauliflower first in 3 inches of water in a medium pot, until soft. Then, I throw a handful of ice cubes into the pot to cool it all down quickly – the kids and I are eager to get started. I hand the entire cauliflower over to Mingus and ask him to cut it in chunks – the details are up to him:) The surprise of this freedom earns me a big smile.
We pour olive oil into a pan. I explain we’re going to add spices and he dashes for a chair to reach the spice cabinet. Rather than dampen his enthusiasm with a rigid recipe, I say, “Great!” He grabs the nutmeg and I think, “Why not?” After he shakes nutmeg all over the pan, I hand him a little bowl with about 3 tbsp of turmeric and ask him to empty it into the pan. He’s happy to comply. Next step, add the cauliflower. Mingus cries out, “Wait! I want to lick the spices like a dog!”
Cauliflower is everywhere – in the pan, on the floor, in their mouths, passed from hand to hand. But, it’s all okay. In the end, we load it back into the pan, I sautee it in the skillet, add some cranberries, a dash of salt, and done – a beautiful and tasty side ready for dinner.