Cauliflower Bruschetta with Cauliflower Butter and Cauliflower Rice Salad

With Earth Day having recently passed, today I figured we’d pay homage to our lunar neighbor. And also because I’m over the moon with love for cauliflower. Today’s stellar collaboration is enough to launch your taste buds into orbit.

Cauliflower is an incredibly versatile vegetable, as it can be eaten raw, steamed, pickled, roasted, mashed, baked, and beyond! It is also a great absorber of flavor like other neutral ingredients such as tofu and cashews. Even moreso, it’s nutrient-dense enough for any would-be astronaut and is naturally high in fiber and low in calories.

We are transforming this white-clouded cluster in two ways for our recipe today: First, we are roasting cauliflower with garlic and pureeing the vegetables with toasted nuts to create an umami butter as a base. Then, for the top-level, raw cauliflower is pulsed with herbs and spices and then tossed with toasted pine nuts. Layered and complex, this recipe is a simple feast, and one to be savored. This recipe uses one head of cauliflower, half used in the cauliflower butter and the other half used in the cauliflower rice salad.

Cauliflower Bruschetta with Cauliflower Butter and  Cauliflower Rice Salad

Preheat the oven to 375˚  

Make the cauliflower butter – Peel most of the outer papery layer off the garlic bulb. Trim about ¼” off the top of the garlic bulb. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Wrap in foil. Place in the oven directly on the rack and bake for 45 minutes.

Line a 13″ x 18″ baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the cauliflower on the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven along with the garlic. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Unwrap the roasted garlic and squeeze the cloves into a high-speed blender. Add the pine nuts and macadamia nuts, roasted cauliflower, vegan butter, and salt and purée until smooth, pushing on the tamper to evenly blend the ingredients, about 2 minutes. The mixture should be very smooth in texture. Spoon into a glass jar. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

 

Make the cauliflower crumbles – In a food processor, add the cauliflower chunks and pulse until the cauliflower looks like rice. Scape into a medium bowl and toss with the pine nuts, raisins, olive oil, lemon, basil, garlic, and spices. Let rest at least one hour for the flavors to blend.

Make the bruschetta – Toast the bread slices in the oven or toaster. Rub each slice with the garlic clove. Spread a layer of chilled cauliflower butter. Top with a spoonful of cauliflower crumbles. Garnish with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

serves 6-8

CAULIFLOWER BUTTER

  • 1 whole bulb of garlic
  • half of a head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup dry-roasted pine nuts
  • ½ cup dry-roasted macadamia nuts
  • ½ cup Miyoko’s Creamery butter
  • 1½ tsp salt

CAULIFLOWER RICE SALAD

  • half of a head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Aleppo chiles
  • a pinch of black pepper

BRUSCHETTA

  • 1 loaf of hearty sourdough, cut into ½” slices
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled 
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil