Cauliflower cores and stems don’t need to be discarded! They may seem all hard and unapproachable, but with a little coaxing in some boiling water and a nice blend with some beans, oil and garlic, you’ll be on your way to a nice dip, side dish or even a component of a main course.
This recipe was inspired by White Bean and Cauliflower Core Puree with Green Olive Gremolata, found in Cooking with Scraps by Lindsay-Jean Hard.
Cauliflower Core Dip
Core and stem pieces from a cauliflower. Any pieces that are too hard to go in whatever you’re making with the rest of the head will be great for the dip. However, you’ll want to peel away any thick, fibrous layers
A can of white beans (Great Northern, Cannellini, etc.). Don’t dump the liquid!
Anything else you have on hand that sounds good to you. Lemon juice? Some cooked veggies that would blend right in? Parsley or another herb?
1. Make sure the cauliflower core and stem pieces are peeled and clear of any fibrous exterior. Chop them into similarly sized chunks.
2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
3. Drop in the cauliflower chunks.
4. Boil until tender, at least 15 minutes.
5. While they’re boiling, chop the garlic. If, like me, you find raw garlic too intense, you might sauté the garlic, too.
6. In a food processor combine the tender cauliflower pieces, beans, garlic and olive oil. Blend until you get a consistency you like. If you want it thicker, add the water from the bean can and the olive oil gradually, and blend in increments until you get a consistency you’re happy with. Or, if you’re reckless, like me, just dump the can's contents, liquid and all, into the food processor.
7. Add any extras like veggies, herbs and lemon juice.
8. Serve as a dip for bread or hearty crackers, as a sandwich spread, as a side dish or as a bed for a main course.