Skillet Cauliflower ~ Simple Sides

I know…cauliflower recipes are everywhere these days. And…it is not a vegetable that  really has much flavor. But…this recipe is too quick, easy and flavorful to pass up!

First…buy fresh cauliflower at the grocery store. The frozen stuff is okay if you can’t get it fresh but you’ll have to steam it first, let it cool and squeeze out any excess liquid.

Rinse the fresh cauliflower, pull off any outside leaves…you can actually add these to the skillet if you want, it tastes like cabbage.  Chop or break the cauliflower into little pieces. Or, cut the whole cauliflower head into quarters and shave the quarters on a mandoline like I did. Please use the hand guard so you don’t shave yourself in the process.

shaved cauliflower

Little pieces of the cauliflower will break off and tumble down as you shave it. That’s okay, the pieces will cook to differing doneness, giving your simple side complex texture. Yes I know, WordPress…doneness is not a word, but I’m ignoring the red squiggly grammar error warning anyway!

skillet cauliflower

Preheat the skillet with one tablespoon of garlic flavored olive oil on medium high heat. Add the cauliflower and saute for just 5 minutes, or until browned on the edges and al dente in texture…how to know when it’s al dente? Take a few pieces out, let them cool a little and taste them.

browned skillet cauliflower

Don’t crowd your pan, you want to brown, not steam the cauliflower ~ cook in batches if necessary.

Add salt and pepper to taste and remove to a bowl or plate for serving. Don’t have garlic flavored olive oil? Substitute a few pinches of garlic powder when you add the salt and pepper. A few red pepper flakes wouldn’t hurt either!

plated skillet cauliflower

My son doesn’t really like any vegetables except peas. He uses the “swallow whole with a mouthful of milk” method when eating most vegetables. He still used that method with this cauliflower dish…but he loves garlic and liked this dish so much he swiped his fingers on his plate to get the last bits!

To make your own garlic flavored olive oil, toast a few unpeeled cloves of garlic in a hot dry skillet for 10 minutes. Carefully remove them from the skillet and drop them into a heat proof jar. Cover the cloves with olive oil by an inch or two and let cool. Put the lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Use the oil to flavor dishes, in salad dressings or on top of popcorn.  Squeeze the garlic out of the skin and onto some toast!

cauliflower appetizer

For a yummy snack, pile skillet cauliflower atop some wilted greens and crispy prosciutto.