Move over kale and brussels sprouts!
Cauliflower has been having a moment for quite a while now as the new “I see it everywhere” vegetable. As an avid cauliflower lover, I have no complaints about this and am quick to get *anything* cauliflower that I spot on a menu. I’m going after these for the deliciousness quotient, but whether you are going after a “rice substitute” or for the health factor or just want to eat more veggies, read on fellow cauliflower connoisseurs.
I’ve canvassed the city for cauliflower on the menus and have had some excellent dishes! Here are my favorites:
The cauliflower floret “wings” which come in a choice of garlic parmesan, PB&J BBQ, or Old Bay, are a good alternative to the traditional chicken wings, and pairs perfectly well with a beer from their extensive selection.
The cauliflower at this new spot is deep fried and tossed with fish sauce, coriander and cilantro. Between the sauce and the crispy outside, it’s reminiscent of Chinese takeout (General Tso’s, anyone?), but in the best way possible.
The cauliflower chili fry which comes with a generous toss of green chilies and curry leaves is one of those basic dishes that surprises with an unexpected kick that pushes it into the “amazing” category.
Another fried version, the hot sauce tempura cauliflower is delicious, but also surprisingly light. Even if you don’t normally love cauliflower, get this appetizer to share and you just may be a convert.
The Sunday vegan brunch (which is a must do in general) offers up a crispy cauliflower with tahini vinaigrette and fresh pomegranate. The combination of sweet and savory is brilliantly done and will have you excited for cauliflower.
Carb conscious? Rejoice! Bidwell’s cauliflower crust pizza will satisfy any pie cravings you have, with zero guilt attached. While the vegetarian pizza, the “Garden of Eden” comes with pesto and a bunch of vegetables, diners have the choice of using the cauliflower crust with any of their offerings.
No cauliflower roundup in DC is complete without G’s cauliflower sandwich! The combination of perfectly roasted cauliflower with romesco and pickled vegetables is ridiculously good. If you have not tried this yet, you’ve been missing out.
Have you tried their pizza topped with roasted cauliflower? If not, you absolutely should! The combination of tomato puree, roasted florets, pine nuts and anchovy (omit for vegetarian) is itself worth many repeat visits.
Cauliflower raisin pasta. Who knew that cauliflower puree with rigatoni, topped with pine nuts and raisins would make for such a comforting and light meal?! The dish at this new spot is a nice combination of flavors and textures, and just works.
Another Asian riff on the vegetable, the battered florets are tossed with “Col. Ling” sauce, and topped with sesame seeds and scallions. Nice texture, and the scallions lend a freshness to every bite.
There’s a large variety of tacos at this Bethesda spot, but when you put two of my favorite things together, I can’t resist. The cauliflower taco, which comes with corn and avocado foam is seriously packed with flavor. Muy Bueno!
Yes, it’s a chain concept but I think we can all agree that fast casual is on fire right now. Roti is keeping things interesting with new additions to the menu- the cauliflower quinoa tabbouleh is offered as a topping, and is bright and fresh and good enough that it’s tempting to use this as the base instead!