Cauliflower Soup with Chive Oil and Rye Crostini

It’s going to turn cold soon – how about a cauliflower soup? (Don’t forget – the leaves from your broccoli and cauliflower are all friendly members of the cabbage family. Don’t discard them! They’re just begging to be eaten. )

Just last month Bon Appetit offered this recipe for cauliflower soup with rye crostini. I’ve been on a rye-bread-baking binge, so this one appeals to me a lot right now. And what an elegant start for Thanksgiving dinner it would be. Everything can be done ahead of time and then heated and assembled when ready to serve.

I checked online and Bon Appetit’s first mention of chive oil was in 1998. Still a delicious idea.

Creamed Cauliflower and Leeks

This recipe is from Lisa Hanson of Cabbagetown Market. Easy, easy. Oh – I wanted to share this wonderful way to turn your head of cauliflower into florets. It came from King Arthur Flour. Cut the head in half, and then cut away the core like you would a cabbage. The florets, for the most part, just fall off! It was a tip they shared from one of their editors who spent years in restaurant kitchens. Love it!

If you don’t have leeks at home, you really could use any member of the onion family you prefer. I wouldn’t discard the leftover milk as Lisa suggests – it could be used to flavor mashed rutabagas or turnips or become the base for a potato soup.

Broccoli or Cauliflower “Risotto”

This recipe came from the chefs at JCT Kitchen and was a demo at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market. I made an easy knock-off one night – cooking a whole head of cauliflower until it broke down, then adding 4 cups of cooked brown rice (which I had languishing in the refrigerator), some wine, chicken stock and garlic, and then folding in Parmesan after everything was warmed up. Easy and delicious. Their version will take a little more time, but the risotto effect is worth the trouble. If you’re not familiar with Carolina gold rice, it’s grown in South Carolina and available at specialty markets. Arborio or other risotto rice will work fine.