Dining Guide | 5 of the Best Cauliflower Dishes in Scottsdale
Mark Twain once said, “Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” It would appear that all the time and effort it took to acquire that degree has finally paid off with 2016 being the year of the vegetable and cauliflower sits at the top of that list. With recent studies purporting that we should be concerned about the health and environmental effects of animal proteins, whether founded or not, has many looking to alternative proteins and they are rampant in the garden.
Many look to cauliflower as a low-carb substitute for potatoes or rice, but the vegetable all on its own is incredibly versatile. It is seen as a palette vegetable, allowing other ingredients and flavors to be highlighted while still providing its unique texture and unassuming taste. Not sold? Check out the unique cauliflower dishes we found in your neighborhood that feature this meaty garden flower.
5 of the Best Cauliflower Dishes in Scottsdale
Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse
7217 E. 1st St.| Scottsdale| 480.404.9984
It’s no secret that Bootleggers is widely known for their Bacon Boards and perfectly smoked meat dishes, they are also doing some pretty incredible things with what is typically an afterthought in a smokehouse. If you are looking to infuse your diet with an alternate protein the Grilled Cauliflower Steak. This dish is well thought out with the combination of perfectly charred cauliflower, a bounty of sweet whiskey onions, lots of melted cheddar cheese over the top and then dusted with pretzel bread crumbs. The cauliflower takes on a meaty texture and the sweet flavor of the onions is balanced by the salty flavor of the cheese and pretzel crumbs. While this may not be the healthiest way to get your cauliflower, it’s a tasty way to start the introductions!
7366 E. Shea Blvd.| Scottsdale| 480.922.7482
Pita Jungle is all about fresh and healthy menu options, catering to a variety of diets. Their hummus platters are what dreams are made of and you can certainly fill up on that alone. If you are looking to add a little more substance to your meal a side order of their Caramelized Cauliflower with Tahini. The tahini is a perfect tie into the hummus. The caramelization of the cauliflower imparts a sweetness and the crispy onions add a great contrast of texture. The addition of the tahini sauce adds an additional layer of flavor that only complements the creative dish. This is definitely not the water logged cauliflower you might be accustomed to.
4801 E. Cactus Road| Scottsdale| 602.795.9463
Salty Sow does farm-to-table better than most and their executive culinary team is always busy crafting creating new takes on familiar ingredients. Imagine a hearty casserole made up of cauliflower, wild rice, almonds, parmesan and a heady garlic cream sauce. The oven roasting of the cauliflower allows the vegetable to maintain its texture and the structure of the wild rice adds a complex mouthfeel. The salty component of the parmesan cheese and the slight sweetness of the garlic cream sauce balance out the earthy profile of the other ingredients. Their delightful dishes are served up in a laid-back setting that provides comfort from the front door to the table to the washrooms.
Scottsdale Beer Company
8608 E. Shea Blvd.| Scottsdale| 480.219.1844
Gone are the days in which you could either get stellar brew options or incredible menu items; breweries are getting in the food game. Restaurants have been suggesting a wine to pair with meals for years and now the same is being done with brews. Menus are being crafted around what dishes will pair best with specific beers in mind. This is true with the menu at Scottsdale Beer Company and their thoughtful menu. One great example is their Roasted Cauliflower dish; a combination of nutty cauliflower, almonds, scallions and smoked tomatoes. The cauliflower retains its structure and a bit of a bite during the roasting process and is then topped with an intoxicating smoky tomato sauce. Then they add in the almonds and scallions for additional texture and bite. If you aren’t going the vegetarian route, you can ask for an addition of pork belly cracklins to add a whole new level of amazing!
Twisted Grove Parlor + Bar
8220 N. Hayden Road| Scottsdale| 480.699.0811
Twisted Grove Parlor + Bar is quickly gaining traction as the go-to spot for sophisticated comfort food. There are an abundance of menu items that have a familiar pull in that they sound like something you may have ordered before but the kitchen is hard at working creating the unexpected. Take their Cauliflower ‘Grits” dish as an example; typically a super creamy side made from ground corn. The version here is made from a base of grated cauliflower then combined with asadero cheese and a reduced cream. In this scenario, the cauliflower becomes very creamy and that slight tang of the asadero cheese has the perfect melt and creates a dish that you will likely prefer over traditional grits.
This article was originally featured in the January 2016 issue of So Scottsdale Magazine.