I went to my friend Mat’s birthday party on Labor Day. He and his wife Maggie threw a backyard BBQ at their new home, and I brought a side dish that people really loved. I got lots of compliments. One guy said, “You made the cauliflower? I just have to shake your hand!”
Here’s how to make… Thai Coconut Tri-Color Cauliflower!
Looks pretty, right?
I used three different colors of cauliflower, hence the ‘tri-color’ part of the name. Cauliflower is most known for being white, of course, but nowadays you can find purple cauliflower, orange cauliflower, and even green cauliflower. The store had all four colors, but the green ones were small and not very impressive, so I got the other three.
But you can use whatever colors of cauliflower you can find! Or just use white. It doesn’t matter. They all taste the same. Oh, and three heads of cauliflower is a lot, but this recipe is easily adaptable if you only want to make one head’s worth.
You’ll need three heads of cauliflower for this dish, cut into florets.
Get a big skillet going over medium heat, and heat 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil. (I couldn’t fit all my cauliflower into one skillet, so I had two going simultaneously.)
Once the skillet is piping hot, add the cauliflower, or divide it between the two skillets, if you’re doing it like I did it. Also add 2 shallots, finely minced.
You’re going to stir-fry the cauliflower until it’s nice and fork-tender, about 8-10 minutes, depending on the size of the florets. About halfway through, add the Thai coconut part. And shocker – it comes from a bottle! Actually, two bottles.
On the left is a peanut coconut satay sauce that I bought on a recent trip to Cost Plus World Market. Most supermarkets have some sort of bottled peanut sauce in their Asian section, but if you can’t find one, you can very easily make one. My sister Sarah showed me about 15 years ago that you can make a simple peanut stir-fry sauce by blending equal parts peanut butter and soy sauce. You can mix in some coconut milk for even more flavor. If you google ‘satay sauce recipes,’ you can find all sorts of easy options!
On the right is sriracha, a hot sauce that you use like you would Tabasco. It’s easy to pronounce, just pretend the first ‘R’ is silent.
When the cauliflower is about halfway done, add in the sauces. You don’t need much – you want to add flavor but not drown the veggies. I used 1/2 cup of the peanut coconut satay sauce, and about 2 tablespoons of the sriracha. Go light on the sriracha at first, because you can always add more but you can’t take it out!
Transfer it to a serving bowl when the cauliflower is tender, and garnish with a few tablespoons of minced fresh chives, which adds some bright freshness at the end, and a dash of color. And that’s it, you’re done!
The dish is great warm, but it’s also good at room temperature.
I like using the peanut coconut satay sauce for something other than what it’s supposed to be for, although I have plans to use the other half of the bottle for a chicken satay dinner. But it’s also great on cauliflower!
If you’re looking for more great cauliflower recipes, you’re on the right website. I love cauliflower, so check out how to roast a cauliflower whole, my cauliflower-crust pizza, and a great cauliflower, tomato, and avocado salad. And then check out everything else on my Recipes page!
Lastly, even though it was Mat’s birthday, I was the one that went home with gifts: produce! Mat and Maggie’s have a lemon tree and an enormous avocado tree in their new backyard, so I left with a bag full of lemons and avocados. I’m already trying to think of clever, new ways to enjoy them!
Keep it up, David!
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