Saturday, January 24, 2009

Golden Cauliflower & Mushroom Fettuccine - Gluten-Free

It's Royal Foodie Joust time again over at the Leftover Queen's Foodie Blogroll and this month's trio of required ingredients are mushrooms, cauliflower and noodles. Sounds simple, right? Well, for me it was a stumper, since I couldn't get past all that creamy whiteness. How could I violate the basic principles of Home Economics Cookery and make a dish out of three white ingredients, much as I love them all separately?

Husband Dan saw me muttering over a pile of cookbooks and asked me what I was up to. When I relayed my culinary quandary, he immediately shot back with the brilliant suggestion to use one of those beautiful yellow-orange cauliflowers that have been cozying up to the regular white "choux fleurs" at our supermarket. It seems that plant scientists recently worked with a mutant head of cauliflower dug out of a Canadian marsh and bred a new variety of beta-carotene enriched cauliflowers that are a splendid sunny shade of yellow.

I procured the desired golden cauliflower head and that got my creative kitchen mojo working. I made up a pot of rice fettuccine and made a buttery wine sauce that got added color from some flat-leaf parsley and a handful of dried grape tomatoes that we grew in the garden, sliced and half and threw in the food dehydrator last summer. The tomatoes add a nice bit of chewiness and acidity to the sauce.The result was not only tasty but colorful and so I present to you the recipe for Golden Cauliflower and Mushroom Fettuccine:

Golden Cauliflower and Mushroom Fettuccine

4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
10 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (I used baby Portabellas)
1/2 medium head yellow-orange cauliflower
3 Tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped
8 Tbsp. butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup dehydrated or sun-dried tomatoes
Grated Fontina cheese to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. pasta
Extra-virgin olive oil

Cut out core of cauliflower and break into very small flowerets (1 inch average size). Set aside.

Heat butter in saucepan. Add garlic and cook, stirring 2 minutes, over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms, and cook another 5 minutes, stirring. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse with warm water and set aside.

Back to the mushrooms: Turn heat to high and add white wine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium, and cook until pan juices are reduced to half, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook until crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. of the parsley and the dried tomatoes and stir another 3-4 minutes.

Toss pasta with a little olive oil to moisten. Put into serving bowls, top with some cauliflower-mushroom sauce and garnish with remaining parsley and Fontina.

Serves 6-8.

There are already some other great Joust recipes posted on the Foodie Blogroll, so you may want to visit the Leftover Queen's Forum to investigate. Hopefully, this will inspire you to Joust along with me!


FOODalogue said...

ha, ha...more white food! Good luck at the Joust.

Maria Verivaki said...

this looks great - we have so much cauliflower from the garden,m i've had to freeze it. now i have something else to try

Ivy said...

Never heard of this golden cauliflower before. Good luck with the Joust.

Arlene Delloro said...

That white food is really stalking you these days, Rachel. I've never seen a golden cauliflower. I have a regular (white) one in the fridge that I've been thinking about using to make pasta with beans and topped with bread crumbs. Wish mine was colorful like yours. Hope you win!

Rachel said...

Yes, the white foods haunt me during the day and now even in my dreams! Egad.

The golden cauliflowers really are beautiful. They look like they are made of Cheddar Cheese, although they taste just the same as a white cauliflower. I was even tempted by a magenta cauliflower and a lime green "Broccoflower" that I saw in one of the larger supermarkets this week when I was killing time waiting for my teeny bopper to come out of a concert with her friends.

I love doing the Jousts over at the Leftover Queen's Foodie Forum. Jenn is such a lovely and generous person, first of all, and the challenge of the three ingredients each month is always a noggin-scratcher. It's like the challenge of solving a really tough crossword puzzle.

Thank you all for your encouraging words and hope you enjoy this recipe sometime. Actually, if I ever buy another golden cauliflower (it's about $1 more than a white cauliflower) I will probably just serve it raw next to some white flowerets and green broccoli flowerets on a dip tray. It's just so lovely.

Amy said...

Mmm sounds yummy!

Anonymous said...

Sounds really good with the fontina!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Nice work! The little golden florets are so pretty in it too.

Brittany @ Real Sustenance said...

Yummmm! I was trying to come up with a way to use cauliflower today. NOW I know how Im going to use it!! :)
and by the way.. this recipe has Seasonal Sunday written ALL over it! :)
xo- Brittany