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Posted on Mon, May 24, 2010 : 4:14 a.m.

Peggy Lampman's Monday dinnerFeed: Curried Cheesy Cauliflower and Brown Rice Casserole

By Peggy Lampman


Curried Cheesy Cauliflower and Brown Rice Casserole

Peggy Lampman | Contributor

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While grocery shopping yesterday, Richard and I stopped the cart to gaze longingly at the heads of cauliflower. Glistening under a spray of water they trembled slightly under the disconcerting rumble of thunder, that piped-in nature sound fashionable in some of today's supermarkets.

"Why aren't you making cauliflower dishes these days?" he asked. I replied that cauliflower wasn't in season. But cauliflower did sound really good, especially after the asparagus and artichoke tonnage we've been consuming these days. I plopped a head into the cart.

At the checkout counter, I remembered a dish I made in the mid-70s, as an undergrad at Michigan. In those days my favorite Ann Arbor restaurants were vegetarian Seva and Indian Raja Rani, obviously favored by many as they've both stood the test of time. This recipe combines flavors I enjoyed at both restaurants.

It's not a fancy dish, but it's nurturing and soulful, resurrecting memories of my long-lost Moosewood Cookbook, the communal Eden restaurant on Maynard, freshly made granola and chapatis.

A cup or two of cooked lentils would be a wonderful addition to the casserole. A simple lettuce salad tossed with cucumbers in a lemony vinaigrette would be a perfect side salad.

Yield: 6-8 servings
Rice cook time: apx. 40 minutes, depending on rice
Active time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes
Cost: apx. $10


1 cup brown rice
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons curry powder
10 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 medium-sized head of cauliflower, cut into florets (apx. 8 cups, 1-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped green onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup Panko (Japanese bread flakes) or bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro


1. Cook brown rice according to package instructions. When rice is cooked, stir in beaten egg, 1 tablespoon of the curry powder and 1 cup of grated cheddar. Combine well and reserve.
2. Preheat oven to 350Ëš.
3. While rice is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch cauliflower 3 minutes; drain in colander and rinse with cold water.
4. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons curry powder and scallions. Sauté 2 minutes then combine curried scallion mixture with cauliflower.
5. In a 9-inch baking dish, combine rice mixture with cauliflower-scallion mixture. Combine remaining cheese and panko and sprinkle evenly and patting down onto top of casserole. Bake on center rack of oven 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let sit 5-10 minutes, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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