Cauliflower is not a favorite vegetable of most people, maybe because of its tastelessness, you know it doesn’t have a distinctive flavor. Some people may also not love its scent when boiling. I know a great tip to remove that nasty smell: Put half lemon into its water and then boil. Your kitchen will never smell that bad with the help of this lemon. We will throw it away when cauliflower florets are done.
This cauliflower casserole is the dish which made us love cauliflower, even get addicted to it! I learnt it from a colleague. We would hardly have cauliflower before I learnt how to make this tasty dish from her, so I owe her a lot! A I know it’s a healthy Winter vegetable, I tried several recipes and they couldn’t make this magical effect on us. I’m not that picky, there is no vegetable that I don’t eat. But I enjoy some of them more, cauliflower was absolutely not of my favorite vegetables. My husband would have more difficulty in eating this lovely but bland flower like vegetable. Not anymore! He now asks when we will have cauliflower next. So if anyone in your family has a problem with cauliflower, try this recipe. I promise it will become one of your favorite vegetables.
Note: Cauliflower means Karnabahar in Turkish, which means ‘Spring in stomach’. Isn’t it so cute? Let cauliflower bring Spring in your stomach with this tasty casserole too!
Some grated cheese always makes foods even more tasty!
- ½ head cauliflower
- ½ lemon, to prevent bad scent when boiling
- water to boil cauliflower
- 250g ground beef
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp pepper paste (or tomato paste)
- ½ cup hot water
- 2 green peppers, chopped
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- ground black pepper (I recommend you to use a generous amount of it for this dish)
- 1 cup kasar cheese, grated (any cheese that melts works fine)
- Cut the cauliflower head into bite-sized florets. Wash them well. Put them in a large pot with half lemon and pour water onto them.
- Boil until florets tender, but not mushy. Cooking for 15 minutes after boiling will be enough.
- Take it from stove and drain. Don’t pour any cold water on them. Keep them as they are.
- Meanwhile prepare the ground beef mixture in a separate pot.
- Put ground beef in a pot, cover the pot and cook it over medium heat until it releases water and absorbs back. Stir it occasionally.
- Then add olive oil, chopped onion and green pepper, stir. Don’t cover the pot at this step.
- Toss chopped tomato after a few minutes.
- Mix pepper paste and hot water in a bowl and pour it into the pot. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 10 minutes.
- Then add salt and a generous amount of ground black pepper.
- Cook it for about 10 or 15 minutes more.
- Preheat oven at 200 C.
- Transfer the boiled cauliflower florets into a baking dish (I used an oval casserole dish) when they are still hot. We don’t need to oil the dish.
- Toss half of grated kasar cheese on them. This cheese gives a great flavor to cauliflower, so don’t skip this ingredient.
- Then spread ladles of ground beef mixture to cover the clauflower florets. Press on it with the reverse side of a spoon to make it tight so that it will be easier to share it on plates when serving. Bake it for about 20 minutes.
- Take it from oven and layer the rest of cheese on the top. Bake it until the cheese melts for about 5 minutes.
- Serve it hot. You can slice it in squares and share it on plates.
- A small bowl of yogurt will make a perfect pair with this wonderful cauliflower dish.