When I prepare a food that I haven’t yet served to my kids, I sometimes attempt to market it in terms that are already familiar to them. For example, when I steamed cauliflower for the first time, I introduced it to my kids as white broccoli. I figured since they eat plenty of broccoli without complaining, why not align the new vegetable with an already accepted one?
“It’s just like broccoli,” I argued to my kids, “but white!”
My kids looked suspiciously at the white florets but eventually took a bite. My 2-year-old son gave it a dramatic “blech,” while my 4-year-old daughter went back for more.
“It does taste like white broccoli,” she confirmed and then tried to coax her little brother into one more bite.
Fast forward a year when one day I open my weekly box of organic vegetables and find three heads of cauliflower. For dinner that night I bring steamed cauliflower to the table.
“Tonight,” I tell my kids, “we have white broccoli.”
“I know that’s not what it’s called, Mom,” says my 5-year-old who acts like a teenager.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“I know what it is,” she says as she takes a bite.
“You do?” I ask.
“It’s called cauliflower, Mom!” she says in triumph.
Meanwhile my son has removed all of the cauliflower from his plate. White broccoli or not, he wants nothing to do with it. I resolve to serve cauliflower more often.
My daughter likes it plain and steamed. My son, not at all.
My husband and I, however, prefer a little more flavor.
1 large cauliflower head, rinsed and trimmed into florets
3 cloves of garlic, minced
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix cauliflower, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic in a bowl to evenly coat. Transfer into a baking dish. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the florets are softened. Remove from oven and sprinkle in cheese. Serve warm.