Recipe Friday: True Food Kitchen’s Cauliflower Polenta

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A few years ago, you’d be hard pressed to find a cauliflower dish on most restaurant menus. Today, cauliflower is everywhere in many forms: roasted in olive oil, deep fried and slathered with buffalo sauce, cut into “steaks,” steamed as a side dish and grated to make “rice.” That’s where this week’s recipe comes in. Robert McCormick, True Food Kitchen’s brand chef, shares the restaurant’s cauliflower polenta recipe. “We’ve taken a simple Italian comfort food and put our spin on it.”

Most polenta is loaded with butter and cheese, but McCormick replaces those fats with house-made cashew butter. To add a savory element, he mixes in garlic puree. Together, they give the polenta a creamy and rich texture, he says. “And it adds flavor and backbone.”

Feel free to use any vegetables you have on hand, or simply top the dish with arugula dressed in lemon juice and olive oil, McCormick says. The dish will be on True Food Kitchen’s menu indefinitely.

Cauliflower Polenta Recipe

Cashew Butter

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cashews, salted
  • 3 ½ oz. white miso

Preparation:

  • Soak the cashews in water overnight.
  • Strain out the water.
  • In a blender, add the white miso and cashews, blend until smooth.
  • Reserve mixture for later use.

Garlic Puree

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups garlic (about 10 heads of garlic)
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tbsp. kosher salt

Preparation:

  • In a medium-sized sauce pot, combine the garlic and the grapeseed oil.
  • Heat the oil/garlic mixture and cook on low heat until the cloves are soft and tender.
  • Cool garlic and oil mixture.
  • Once cool, puree mixture with blender, then slowly add in the water followed by the kosher salt.
  • Continue to puree until completely smooth.

Cauliflower Polenta

Ingredients:

  • 1 small piece fresh turmeric, peeled
  • 1 each medium-sized head of cauliflower
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup garlic puree
  • ½ tbsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup cashew butter
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  • Peel the turmeric, unwrap the cauliflower and cut off the stem and any green leaves. You should have about 17-18 ounces of cauliflower after the trimming.
  • Using a fine box grater or food processor, grate the cauliflower and the turmeric.
  • Put grated cauliflower and turmeric into medium-sized sauce pot together with water, garlic puree and kosher salt.
  • Bring mixture to a boil and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Stir often with a rubber spatula until cauliflower is soft with no visible water remaining.
  • Once cauliflower has finished cooking, fold in cashew butter and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Serve immediately or cool and reserve for later.

Spring Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grilled asparagus
  • 1 cup blanched snow peas
  • 1 cup blanched snap peas
  • 1 cup blanched edamame
  • 1 cup roasted yellow squash
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped scallion
  • 1 tsp. chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Preparation:

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together until vegetables are evenly coated with olive oil and seasoning.
  • Place vegetables is a medium-heat sauté pan; gently heat vegetables without getting any color on them.

To Assemble the Dish:

  • Heat cauliflower polenta in a medium size sauce pot.
  • Spoon cauliflower polenta into the middle of a plate or serving platter.
  • Spoon spring vegetables on top of, or on the side of cauliflower polenta.
  • Serve hot

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