Today's recipe comes from The Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook, subtitled How to Teach Your Child the Delights of Cooking and Eating. Since it is targeted to children, it is full of child-friendly recipes that are easy to make and that appeal to the tastes of youngsters. But author Lois Levine manages to sneak in a few frightening foods, too. Glorious Spinach (really? isn't 'glorious' promising a bit too much?), Zucchini Custard Casserole and Butterflied Leg of Lamb all seem to run counter to the theme of this little book, but there they are. For a recipe that is least likely to appeal to children, though, I nominate Stuffed Cauliflower. It offers a combination of two unloved foods that is sure to put off all but the most adaptable children - cruciferous veggies and mushrooms (the latter of which is often fine with kids right up to the day they discover they are eating a fungus).
My copy of this cookbook has been annotated by its former owner, rating various recipes she has tried and noting the occasion when they were served. Her ratings scale appears to be: so-so, mediocre, fine, nice, O.K., good, real good, very good, delicious, very delicious, and wow! (only Devonshire Potato Pie rated the wow!). Stuffed Cauliflower has not been tested - surprise, surprise.
Steam until tender (about 30 minutes):
1 large cauliflower
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
Drain in colander.
Saute 5 minutes in 4 TBS. butter:
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup minced celery
3 sprigs parsley, minced
Stir in 1 TBS. flour
Remove center stalk from drained cauliflower, being careful to keep cauliflower whole. Chop stalk and set aside. Stand cauliflower, hollow side up, in greased shallow pan and add 1/4 cup water.
Add to sauteed vegetables:
chopped cauliflower stalk
3/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Spoon vegetable mixture into cauliflower. Brush top with 2 TBS. melted butter.
Sprinkle with 1/2 cup bread crumbs.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Serves 6.
The Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook, Lois Levine, Macmillan Publishing, 1968