“The strawberries are all gone for the season. It’s been a tough spring (as I’m sure other farmers are telling you also) and we are still behind in our plantings and what is coming in for harvest,” wrote Amy Delvin. She sends me a weekly produce report from Delvin Farms, for restaurant clients that source her produce. I always look forward to seeing what she has in abundance. Middle Tennessee had a very wet and chilly spring. On top of the temptation to build an ark, we had to don our fleece right up to early May. So, don’t get all excited thinking about mid-June salsa making parties just yet. We may still get a ton of garden tomatoes, but it will be a few weeks late this year. Thankfully, we have a few hydroponic farms such as Urban Hydro Project that are producing juicy red tomatoes in the meantime!
As I was perusing the retail bounty at Hip Donelson Farmers Market, there it sat in a couple of the farmers’ booths….CAULIFLOWER! Oh, how I love this cruciferous vegetable! Cauliflower is starting to come in and it is a super food. Preventing cancer, reducing high blood pressure and keeping us clean (if you know what I mean) are a few of its greatest attributes. My favorite cauliflower attribute is that it is downright tasty!
Deb Paquette, executive chef of Etch in Downtown Nashville, celebrates this cool season veggie with her Roasted Cauliflower dressed with truffled pea pesto, salted almonds, and feta crema. While listed as an appetizer perfect for sharing, I prefer to eat it as a main course accompanied by one of her velvety rich soups! Speaking of soups, The Mad Platter has some of the best in town. And many times you can find Chefs Jamie and Steven using cauliflower as the star of their soup du jour. While in Germantown, you gotta try Tandy Wilson’s pizza that showcases a cauliflower ragu at City House. Come to think of it, all of my favorite chefs are getting creative with cauliflower right now. Nashville is brimming to the rim with creative food at every price point. I assure you that even the hot bar of Turnip Truck Urban Fare serves delicious cauliflower. Try it, you might like it!
I make cauliflower in all sorts of ways at home. But by far, I think Pank’s favorite is my twice baked potato made with cauliflower. Especially if you are watching carbs, this one is for you!
Pank’s Twice Baked “Taters”
|2 large baking potatoes1 large head of cauliflower1 clove of garlic finely chopped
1 tbsp. butter
2-3 heaping tbsp. Greek yogurt
No more than ¼ cup of milk
½ cup shredded cheese (get creative with blends)
Salt/pepper to taste, paprika, fresh herbs
Note: The left over potatoes can be used for breads, gnocchi, soups or even tater cakes for breakfast the next morning.
|Prick potatoes with fork and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Potato should give a little when squeezed. Let cool. Boil cauliflower until fork tender and drain. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out potato with spoon. In a bowl mash the cauliflower with about 2 tablespoons of potato (just enough to give the cauliflower body) along with the butter, yogurt and just enough milk to create a consistency like mashed potatoes. Add herbs, garlic and salt / pepper to taste. Stuff the 4 potato skins with this filling. Bake for approximately 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Top with cheese and paprika and bake until cheese is bubbly.|