Cauliflower in the vegan spotlight

At Fork, chef John Patterson said the restaurant’s cauliflower steak entrée, the main vegan offering for this contemporary fine-dining venue, started as an off-menu alternative – you had to know about it and ask for it. Chicken breast fingers But it got enough traction that Patterson’s predecessor, Eli Kulp, added it to the menu.

Though he didn’t create the dish, Patterson is a fan: “It’s a great way to utilize cauliflower,” he said. Homeade chicken fingers “We poach it with thyme, crushed garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, and salt, then sear it so the outside gets caramelized. How long to cook chicken fingers in oven It’s served with a puree of macrons almonds with some more lemon zest, and dressed with shaved raw vegetables.”

The topping veggies vary according to season, but right now include Romanesco, the light-green cauliflower variant with the conical points and Fibonacci spirals.

Who invented chicken fingers Patterson is a big Romanesco fan and agreed that using one form of cauliflower to top another speaks to the versatility of this underheralded cruciferous vegetable.

Front Street Cafe is becoming known for its Buffalo cauliflower with cucumber-dill dressing, and Bar Bombon features Buffalo cauliflower tacos. Golden chicken fingers Meanwhile, Revolution Taco offers fried curried cauliflower with guacamole, potato sticks, sesame seeds, and cilantro, and West Philly’s Clarkville uses it as the basis of a sandwich, the “Veggie Bandit,” which is fried cauliflower, pickled beet, kale, white bean puree, and lemon tahini in a bread pocket.

Cauliflower’s great pickled. Chicken fingers recipe buttermilk It anchors soups, stews, and the veggie tray, where it’s a crunchy vehicle for sauces and dips. Chicken fingers recipe indian style It’s low in fat, high in antioxidants, and an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Chicken fingers recipe by shireen anwer So why aren’t we all cuckoo for cauliflower?

Is it the format? Let’s face it: A head of cauliflower is unwieldy and heavy. Chicken fingers dip recipe It can’t be stacked in the fridge. Chicken fingers recipe filipino style When you go to cut it, you find that its dual lineage (“cauli”+”flower” = a cabbage that flowers) makes it hard to get uniform pieces. Chicken strips recipe uk The straight stalk and bulbous florets don’t match up, no matter what angle your knife blade takes.

One solution is to go ahead and chop the whole thing into tiny, rice-size nuggets. Chicken strips marinade recipe Now you have cauliflower rice (or “raced cauliflower”) that can be used in many ways. Chicken tenders recipe nz Lightly boiled, it can replace rice as a base. 4 fingers chicken wings recipe It can also be mixed in with rice as an extender, or used cooked or raw in soups, salads, stews, and what have you to boost a dish’s nutrition profile.

Philly’s vegan-friendly venues are inventively showcasing cauliflower, but home cooks should also feel free to get creative. Baked chicken strips calories Aiding in that endeavor are Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, the king and queen of the Philly vegan scene.

When it opened, their flagship restaurant, Vedge, was the first place I had pickled cauliflower, and this duo has continued to find many fresh and different ways to make cauliflower pop.

One of these is the Cauliflower “65” dish at V Street, a riff on Chicken 65, a traditional spicy dish from India. Juicy baked chicken tenders The recipe is in the new cookbook V Street: 100 Globe-Hopping Plates on the Cutting Edge of Vegetable Cooking (William Morrow).

V-News You Can Use: Aspiring Philly chefs who’ve missed out on Fran Costigan’s legendary NYC Vegan Baking Boot Camp can try a home version with her Essential Vegan Desserts Course via the Rouxbe Online Cooking School (

And for vegans who seek deeper meaning, the annual Vegan Spirituality Retreat is in Gladwyne this Saturday (

Vance Lehmkuhl is a cartoonist, writer, musician and 15-year vegan. “V for Veg” chronicles plant-based eating in and around Philadelphia. Baked chicken tenders panko buttermilk or @V4Veg on Twitter.