Store cauliflower in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Before using trim off any discoloration and separate head into flowerets for quicker cooking time.
Cut up cauliflower into florets and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Plunge into an ice water bath to cool. Drain and pat dry with clean kitchen towels. Freeze in quart-size freezer bags. For easier use, pre-freeze on a baking sheet, and then pack into bags.
French Cream of Cauliflower Soup (Alice Waters)
1 large cauliflower 1 onion 4 tablespoons creme fraiche 2 tablespoons unsalted butter salt, nutmeg, and chervil
Cut off the stem of the cauliflower and any green leaves. Break up into flowerets. Wash them in cold water. Reserve a handful of flowerets to garnish the soup. Peel and slice the onion thin. In a soup ot, stew the onion slices and the flowerets in the butter with a little water for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, without letting them brown. Add water to cover and cook for 25 minutes, covered, over medium heat. Meanwhile, parboil the reserved flowerets in boiling salted water for 8 minutes or so, keeping them crunchy. Puree the soup in a blender and reheat gently to just under boiling. Add the creme fraiche and season with salt and nutmeg to taste. Serve the soup very hot, garnished with the whole flowerets and a few sprigs of chervil.
Whole-wheat pasta with cauliflower, walnuts, and ricotta salata (Alice Waters)
2 heads cauliflower 1 medium onion 4 cloves garlic 1 pound whole-wheat pasta extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes white wine vinegar 1/2 lemon 1/2 cup toasted walnuts 4 ounces ricotta salata or feta cheese
Put a large pot of water on to boil. Cut the cauliflower into small flowerets. Peel the onion and slice it very thin. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Put the pasta on to cook. Saute the cauliflower in olive oil in a large saute pan. When the cauliflower begins to soften, season with salt and pepper and add the sliced onion and red pepper flakes. Saute over medium to high heat until the vegetables are brown and tender. The cauliflower should still be slightly crunchy and should not taste steamed. Add the garlic and remonve from the heat, tossing and stiffing so the garlic doesn't burn; if it starts to brown, add a splash of water. Add a few drops each of vinegar and lemon juice and the toasted walnuts. Taste and correct the seasoning. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the cauliflower, adding enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat the pasta thoroughly, toss together, and serve, with the cheese crumbled over the dish.
Pre-heat oven to 375. Put one whole head of cauliflower in shallow baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Put in oven for 25-35 minutes or until slightly brown and crispy on top.