The idea for this curiously different cauliflower preparation comes by way of the good cooks of Dymond Lake Lodge near Churchill, Man., where I tried it for the first time after walking on sea ice for a lovely far north afternoon — before building an igloo in the dead of winter (or what I like to call “a fun Saturday”.)
This warming side dish is a simple way to get the whole family eating the giant heads of fresh cauliflower that are in season right now.
To make my take on this four-ingredient weekday wonder you’ll need one large head cauliflower, 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, about 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
Once you’ve removed all the leaves and rough stem from the head of cauliflower (being careful so that it remains intact), preheat the oven to 350F, then steam or microwave the cauliflower until it’s quite al dente (the time will depend greatly on the size of your cauliflower, but let’s say five to eight minutes.) In a small bowl, mix Parmesan with mayo, Dijon and pepper. Place partially cooked cauliflower on a baking sheet then slather the mayo sauce all over the head. Bake until golden brown and very tender, about 20 minutes. Then serve it up and let the family spoon away at it. It’s truly is an oddly addictive dish.
Three ways to switch it up:
Curry twist: Remove Dijon, add 2 tsp curry powder to the mix
Provencal punch: Add 2 tsp Herbs de Provence to the mix
Mideast mix-up: Remove Dijon, add 2 tsp za’atar to the mix