Cauli parm: Tasty dish that's easy to make — and eat

... Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. (Photo by Todd Mizener / tmizener@qconline.com)

For me, finding a new recipe is always difficult. There is always so much to consider. Is it easy? Does it need too many ingredients? Do I even like those ingredients? How many dishes will it dirty? Does it contain at least one vegetable? 

I mean, I guess my requirements are fairly superficial, but I can't be the only one out there who doesn't particularly enjoy cooking! I'll do it, but I don't want to be in there all night — especially if something goes awry and my efforts don't yield a culinary masterpiece. 

Another "what can I make that's new and tasty?" conversation with my coworkers had us Googling recipes, when I stumbled on one for Cauliflower Parm. Hm. It sounded pretty tasty. It was something that seemed easy to concoct, it could be eaten alone or with noodles, and more. Sold. 

But it required dredging cauliflower in eggs (gross). I have limited experience dredging anything in eggs — usually only bread for French toast, which I've made maybe twice? — and I wasn't fond of the idea of having to do it. So I did what any resourceful gal in her early 30s does: I called my mom. From the grocery store.

Growing up, my mom cooked dinner for our family nearly every night. She's truly a wiz in the kitchen. She could make a gourmet meal with the items found in the barest of pantries. Surely, she could help her only daughter dredge some cauliflower! So I grabbed everything I needed from the store and essentially forced her to help. Hey, what are daughters for?

Long story short, I dredged a lot of cauliflower in an egg wash, and the dish turned out so good, I could have eaten it all. Sure, everyone who comes in contact with mom's kitchen might be exposed to salmonella now, but I didn't burn down her house, and the results were delicious. Ha!

Cauliflower Parm

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2" steaks

2 cups panko bread crumbs

4 large eggs, beaten

1 cup all-purpose flour

Extra-virgin olive oil, to coat pan

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1 cup marinara

2 cups mozzarella

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Torn fresh basil, for garnish

Heat broiler. Season cauliflower with salt and pepper. 

Add panko to a large resealable plastic bag, eggs to a bowl, and flour to another bowl. 

Dredge cauliflower in flour, dip into eggs to fully coat, then add to bag with panko and shake until fully coated.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add cauliflower and cook until tender and golden (reduce temperature if the oil gets too hot).

Transfer cauliflower to a baking dish and top each piece with marinara, sprinkle with your desired amount of mozzarella and Parmesan. 

Broil until golden, and garnish with basil.

Source: Slightly adapted from delish.com

Laura Anderson Shaw is the editor of Radish.

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