Cauliflower isn't the hippest vegetable, but maybe it should be. It's a nutrition powerhouse that is abundantly available, lends itself to a variety of cooking methods and absorbs whatever flavors you combine it with. Cut into small pieces, it even cooks quickly.
I'm a convert myself, having resisted cauliflower for years. This recipe demonstrates one of the ways I've learned to love it. The flavor base is a combination of scallions, ginger, garlic, tomato and curry powder.
There's a great deal of chopping here, but it can all be done ahead of time. The whole dish comes together in about 30 minutes.
Make Ahead: Ingredients can be prepped and refrigerated up to a day in advance.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips, about 1 1/2 inches long and 1/4 inch thick
- 1 bunch scallions, white and light-green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices (1 cup)
- 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2-inch piece peeled ginger root, finely minced or grated (1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste or 2 tablespoons regular tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons mild curry powder, or more to taste
- 1 cup low-sodium or homemade chicken broth
- 1/2 head (1 pound) cauliflower, stemmed and cut into bite-size pieces (no more than 3/4 inch)
- Leaves from about 1/3 bunch cilantro, chopped (3 tablespoons)
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large, shallow skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.
Add half of the chicken; stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chicken loses its raw look. Transfer to a clean plate; repeat with the remaining chicken and transfer it to the plate.
With the wok or skillet still over medium-high heat, add the scallions; cook for 30 seconds, stirring. If the pan is dry, add oil as needed. Add the garlic and ginger; cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the tomato paste, curry powder and salt to taste; cook for 30 seconds, stirring.
Pour in the broth; stir to thoroughly to coat the ingredients, then add the cauliflower pieces and cover, adjusting the heat to medium or medium-low so the liquid maintains a low boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cauliflower pieces are tender.
Return the chicken to the wok or skillet; stir to coat with the sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add water as needed. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the cilantro. Serve immediately.
From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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