Yep, cauliflower. It’s not just the other white meat… it’s also the poor man’s shrimp. Or the vegetarian’s shrimp. Or the trying-to-get-the-kids-to-eat-their-veggies shrimp.
It’s due to that last one that I know about this dish (OK, and maybe the first one, too). I haven’t had it in years, but I remember my mom making it many times during my childhood, anytime my parents had a party. She always made it first so that we kids would have something to munch on while she finished preparing the food. When I asked Mom if she remembered it, she said “Oh yeah, cheap shrimp!” I never thought twice about it as a kid, but as an adult, I realized that no one else had ever heard of eating cauliflower this way.
And in case that includes you, let me tell you about it: Homemade cocktail sauce. Served with cauliflower. That’s it! So easy, and surprisingly yummy.
As I type this, I just had to go back and get the rest out of the fridge and am now eating it. SO yummy. It takes me right back to childhood.
If you remember last Friday’s post, my big weekend plan was to cook all the foods Nate doesn’t like while he was out of town. Horseradish is probably #1 on that list, so naturally I had to incorporate it somehow, and I’ve been meaning to share this easy party food for a while. I texted Nate a picture of the open jar of horseradish as I was making this, and his response was “Ewwww! Thanks for waiting til I leave to eat that!” Not sure if he thought I was just spooning it out of the jar or what… come on, I’m not THAT crazy.
On a side note, I realized that I forgot to take an advantage of the opportunity last weekend to eat OLIVES. Nate does not like olives. And those CAN be eaten straight out of the jar. Next time.
On another side note, wasn’t it such a pain that I had to open a bottle of wine and several types of cheese in the middle of the day just so that I could take these pictures? Life is tough, I tell ya.
Now, as you may be able to guess from the pictures, you have two options with the cauliflower:
I personally prefer the crunch of the raw, probably because that’s how we used to eat it as kids. But you could do roasted if you prefer. Just toss with a teaspoon of olive oil and pinch of salt and roast on a lined baking sheet at 400 for 20-25 minutes, stirring once. Let cool before serving.
A word to the wise: This cocktail sauce use Worcestershire sauce, which is not vegetarian. (It contains anchovies.) I believe there are vegan versions of Worcestershire sauce available, and there are definitely recipes out there on the web for it. You could leave out the Worcestershire sauce or sub soy sauce for it if you’re vegetarian or making this for vegetarians. You could even make the whole cocktail sauce from scratch if you wanted, using the Herbivore Triathlete’s recipe for homemade ketchup. I had originally planned to do this myself until I realized that an unopened bottle of Heinz was languishing in my fridge. I must have bought it when I moved to Utah, thinking I would need it sometime… It seemed wasteful to leave that and make my own. Also, I guess I haven’t eaten ketchup in the last year and a half? Not surprised. That stuff never goes bad… right?
Are there any foods you ate regularly as a kid but later found out your mom had invented? I’m curious!
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
- 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
- 3-4 Tbsp prepared horseradish
- To make the cocktail sauce, mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. If you’re unsure about the horseradish, start with 2 Tbsp and taste as you go.
- Serve alongside chopped cauliflower.