Cauliflower and the Big Lie


Just so we are all on the same page,  “Cauliflower” has four syllables.


I spent the better part of my life saying “Call-flow-er” and was mortified that I wasn’t corrected until deep into my 30’s.

How does that happen?  It's a mystery to me.

I have been sneaking this plain, white vegetable into my kids' food for years... and lying by omission.  The kids might require therapy to work through this deception (but at least they'll be vibrant and healthy as they do).  However, my hope is that they will call me, and we can work it out over dinner (one where they are aware of every ingredient.)


I've tried every method imaginable to sneak cauliflower into the kid's foods.  I've steamed, pureed, and added it to any possible cheese sauce that I have had handy.  This age-old trick has been made popular by books like “The Sneaky Chef” – but  moms have been pulling these tricks on their kids for generations.  Sure, I want my kids to like a variety of food, but sometimes I just want to get more vitamins in their system.  I hope that some day when it's their time to cook, they will continue the tradition.  They can do it my way, or they can take the more obvious approach my mom used.

My mom, GG,  buried cauliflower under Campbell's Cheese Soup.  I don’t know if they even sell that any more...for obvious reasons. (Correction - I found it at the store today!!)   I’m positive that the pure fat of the sauce counterbalanced any benefit from the vegetables.  Still, it got me to eat cauliflower, broccoli, and almost everything green.  To this day, I think you could get a kid to eat a car tire if enough Campbell's Cheese Soup was dumped on it.

When the truth eventually comes out from under the sauce (so to speak), I will encourage my kids to use our "vegetable appreciation" techniques or to create new ones with their children.  I'm banking on the thought that they’ll eventually treasure the fact that I taught them how to eat more than chicken nuggets – which they don’t really offer in those fun places a person needs to visit like Kenya, Hong Kong, or Dubai.

However, if you don't want to have an ever-expanding waistline,  here’s a way to make the grilled, bare-naked cauliflower that my kids actually NOW love:

  • Buy one head of cauliflower, wash and slice into 5-6 pieces approximately 1” in width.
  • Arrange cauliflower in a basket or on top of foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Sprinkle with Kosher Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Turn the pieces over and repeat for the other side
  •  Place basket or foil on heated grill
  • Grill for 4-6 minutes per side or until the cauliflower is tender

If it's too chilly for the grill (when is that?), an alternative is to  toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil, salt, pepper and half a teaspoon of sugar then roast at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

There you go... and, while they eat, work on the pronunciation.

"Call-lee-flow-er."  Four syllables.