Try it, you’ll like it

Published 4:54 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2012

One of the things I find the most fun in the kitchen is taking something my family doesn’t like to eat and finding a way to make them like it.

Generally, you can cook just about anything and not like the way it tastes. On the flip side, you can usually find a way to cook that exact same thing and make it a diner table hit.

Let’s start off with a few things a lot of people don’t like: cauliflower.

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Broccoli’s black-sheep cousin.

For the most part, I don’t care for cauliflower either. But, I love garlic.

If you need a side dish and want to sneak cauliflower in on your family, give this a shot.

You’ll need:

2 tablespoons minced garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

salt and black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a large casserole dish. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley and place under broiler for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Another veggie that seldom finds itself at the top of grocery lists are mushrooms. I love them and could eat them with everything, but I have found more people than not don’t like them.

If you’re willing to give them one more chance, give this recipe a try. This recipe is perfect because it pairs mushrooms with something most people like: tomatoes.

You’ll need:

6 large tomatoes

3 tablespoons butter

1 pound mushrooms, chopped fine, or blended in a food processor

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons cream

quarter cup breadcrumbs

grated Parmesan, as needed

chopped parsley, as needed

Preheat oven to 400. Cut each tomato in half horizontally. Scoop out about a quarter cup of the insides from each half and season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet over high heat, melt the butter with the garlic and cook about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until significantly reduced in size and dark brown in color, about 20 minutes. Add cream and continue to cook until almost all is evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and add the breadcrumbs. Stir well. Fill each tomato half with about a quarter cup of the mushroom filling until all the filling is used. It’s fine to pile the mushroom filling up on top. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 8 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and the top is browned.

This recipe is also great for parties. Just use about a pound of cherry tomatoes instead of the six large ones. The filling recipe and instructions will be the same.

Tiffany Cannon is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine and the owner of 2ate9 Bakery and Catering in Demopolis. She can be reached at