Sriracha-stir fried cauliflower

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Isn’t cauliflower the best? I have been going a little nuts with it lately–putting it in all kinds of pasta dishes, chopping it up and adding it raw to salads, roasting it and topping it with Parmesan, pureeing it into soup, even scrambling it with eggs–because everything is good with eggs.

But then I saw Ree Drummond make a quick stir fry of cauliflower with Sriracha, lime juice and soy sauce and became instantly jealous I hadn’t thought of it first. So I’m sharing it with you now, in case you don’t also watch Food Network cooking show reruns while riding a stationary bike in your bedroom.

This dish is incredibly easy, except for the cutting up the cauliflower part. I feel like a lot of cookbooks and food blogs fail to acknowledge what a pain in the ass it is to cut broccoli or cauliflower into tiny florets. Many of them gloss over that part by simply listing tiny florets as an already-ready ingredient…as in, “1 head cauliflower, cut into tiny florets”.

But in a dish like this where the total time post-chopping is about 5 minutes, I have to mention what a pain in the ass cutting up the cauliflower is, otherwise I’d be misleading you.

To do it, I like to first cut the head in half. Then I break it down into more manageably sized “trees” by sawing off their stems near the top; then I break those down again with my fingers until I end up with little bite-size florets. (I keep some of the more tender stem pieces and save the rest to make soup or cauliflower ragu, both of which are also great ways to use those outer leaves.)

OK? Now you can relax. The rest will take you almost no time at all, and it will taste like all the very best food adjectives: charred (almost meaty), tangy, salty and hot.

FYI, I’ve tried making this in a few different pans and have found that a cast iron skillet is the best for getting a really good char on the cauliflower.

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Sriracha-stir fried cauliflower
adapted from Ree Drummond

Ingredients

    1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
    1 head cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (see above)
    1 shallot or small onion, minced
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    Juice of 1 lemon
    1 heaping tablespoon Sriracha
    Fresh cilantro leaves or chopped green onion, for garnish

Method: Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high, and add the cauliflower and onion. Cook, turning every few minutes, until the florets have softened and charred on all sides. Add the soy sauce and lemon and toss to coat.

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Cook for another minute, then turn off the heat and squirt in the Sriracha. Toss the cauliflower to ensure every floret is coated. Pile into a bowl and garnish with cilantro leaves or green onion.

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