What to Do With Cauliflower

… That isn’t cauliflower rice.

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By Tejal Rao

Seeing a giant head of cauliflower in the fridge always makes me feel like everything is going to be all right because I can usually get a few meals out of it in my two-person household (unless I go with a whole roasted cauliflower, poached until extremely tender, then browned in the oven). Most of the time, though, I choose to break it up into florets — the smaller the better, cooked nice and brown and crisp on the edges.

Melissa Clark’s cauliflower Parm takes crispness very seriously, which is why I love it. She coats the florets of all sizes in bread crumbs and shallow fries the lot, then layers the pieces with tomato sauce, mozzarella and grated Parmesan, and bakes it. Not in the mood to fry? Sarah DiGregorio’s delicious farro and cauliflower Parm involves a quick roast instead, and gets a nice crunch from a bread crumb topping.

If I’d just baked some banana bread, and had some spare peels lying around, I’d try Nigella Lawson’s cauliflower and banana peel curry, which cleverly softens the banana skins in a spicy coconut gravy. And Ali Slagle’s cauliflower adobo sounds like such a cozy, luxurious dinner to me right now. Her recipe involves only a few steps, which is ideal if you’re still recovering from this last round of holiday hosting, cooking and dishwashing. Cut a whole head into about eight wedges, then sear them in a large pan and add a quick, peppery, vinegary sauce, inspired by Filipino chicken adobo. While the cauliflower is cooking, start a pot of rice. Bonus: Leftover adobo travels and reheats really well.

Cauliflower Adobo

Go to the recipe.

Farro and Cauliflower Parmesan

Go to the recipe.

Cauliflower and Banana Peel Curry

Go to the recipe.

One More Thing!

No matter which veggies you’re cooking this week, I highly recommend making a batch of Samin Nosrat’s herby, fried shallot bread crumb crunch and just keeping it on hand. If you’re craving a little texture, it brings it to any dish — a tender platter of roast carrots, a bowl of brothy beans, the top of a cauliflower and cheese casserole — adding tons of dimension every time.

Another excellent topping to consider with (almost!) any dish you’re making is a variation on this soft herb salad: tender herbs dressed with a mix of fried nuts, chile and lemon juice.

Thanks so much for reading the Veggie and see you next week! If you don’t already subscribe to New York Times Cooking, please consider doing so and supporting the work of my team — recipe developers, photographers, recipe testers, stylists, editors and so many more.

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