Learning To Cook Reluctantly: Coliflor Rebozada (Spanish Style Cauliflower)

cauliflower spanish style Coliflor Rebozada
I don’t care for cauliflower, really.

It’s a weird little vegetable, isn’t it? Because it looks like a brain. Also, it’s largely tasteless. I think a lot of fruits and vegetables should come with tags about who will enjoy them. For instance – strawberries: hopeless romantics. Acai: people who love LA. Tomatoes: people who enjoy Julia Child.

Cauliflower: lobotomy patients.

Really. There is almost no redeeming quality.

But! I was buying some broccoli from the corner market the other day (there is a place in midtown Manhattan that calls itself “the corner market” as though we were in 19th century Wales) which has a wildly poor selection of seemingly everything but Monster beverages. The only broccoli I could find came in a pack that was half chopped broccoli, half cauliflower. I asked the owner for only broccoli. He said that was an impossibility. I said “I will make this devilish bargain with you.” I don’t think he found that comical, but, regardless, I brought their broccoli cauliflower mix. I made a lovely broccoli parmesan. But this meant I still had a ton of leftover cauliflower, which some call “Satan’s vegetable.”

I needed to find a way to make it interesting.

The only way I’ve ever actually enjoyed cauliflower was once, years ago, when I had it at a tapas place and it was spicy and lightly fried. So I googled “spanish cauliflower” assuming it would not be an actual thing, and I would just toss the cauliflower in the trash, blithely ignoring the starving children in Africa.

Spanish Style Cauliflower is an actual thing! Here! It’s a thing! It’s called “Coliflor Rebozada.”

And it’s not actually that hard to make. The basic recipe states that you’ll need:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 large eggs
  • olive oil for frying
  • salt to taste
  • Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 cup flour (optional)

All of which you might have lying around in your fridge. I did! Well, most of it.

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    • legumerie

      Ah, childhood memories. This is how my mother prepared cauliflower when I was little : ) Paprika is the same plant as chili – just not spicy. In Eastern Europe, it’s also called ‘sweet paprika’ for that reason, to distinguish it from ‘hot paprika’ (= chili). If you’re interested in cooking some goulash, or a beef stew, this is your go-to not-hot spice!

    • Mimi

      In my country (the Netherlands) a ‘paprika’ is a bell pepper. And paprika powder is something like ground dried bell peppers. And I’m not sure if this is correct, but I think that Spanish Paprika is the smoked version of paprika powder. Hope it makes sense :)
      I personally love cauliflower so I’m definitely going to be trying this recipe!

    • Tessa

      The “whole-new-world” lens through which you view cooking is equal parts endearing and hysterical, perhaps because I, too, have a special relationship with cooking – that is to say, none at all unless I feel like I need to develop my real-person skills

      I’ve discovered another easy one – boiling red lentils with a ton of whatever spices I find in my cupboard (even paprika!) then letting them sit in the pot (forgetting about them) and coming back to discover fully cooked, delicious healthy food. For every meal.

    • Adrienne

      Steaming works so much better if your veggies aren’t actually IN the water. You can use a steamer basket or a colander that fits inside your pot to ensure that your veggies are raised just high enough that they are above the water level. It also gets rid of your tricky paper towel/water draining bit.

      Also, not to be nit-picky, but you keep writing ‘flower’ when you mean ‘flour’! :)