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Deflowering Cauliflower: How to Clean, Cook and Prepare Cauliflower

05/02/2011 11:36 pm ET | Updated Jul 02, 2011

"Jenny doesn't eat cauliflower." Jon revealed bashfully.

"For medical reasons or a personal preference?" I asked.

"No, she just hates it. Never tried it, never will," he admitted.

As Jon finished his sentence, I could feel my evil chef twin begin to take hold of me. I hate picky eaters.

My friend Jon and new girlfriend Jenny were coming over for dinner and guess what was on the menu? Cauliflower!

I decided on a simple solution: I'd cook a cauliflower dish and avoid telling Jon and Jenny what it was. I had used this tactic with young diners spiking meatloaf with pureed carrots and broccoli or defiling mac 'n cheese with chopped root vegetables. I figured picky adults are merely large children and I would cook for them as such.

For this child-tricking technique to work, however, the key is that the cauliflower cannot look like cauliflower. Usually non-allergy food paranoia goes hand in hand with a food's appearance. This is why kids claim to hate green colored food. Adults know there are many flavors of green food. Kids only know one flavor: Gross.

My bet was that Jenny was suffering from a similar "food color blindness" and it was my duty to cure her ailment by feeding her tender, delicious cauliflower. For dinner I served a white cauliflower risotto with yellow cauliflower "cous cous", cauliflower crisps, AND sauteed green cauliflower florets. Not only did everyone love dinner, Jenny at one point whispered to me, "I seriously want the recipe for this risotto."

Well Jenny, here you go - hope you enjoy the following slide show about your new favorite vegetable - cauliflower.

What foods did you hate as a kid? What helped you get over your food phobias?

Deflowering Cauliflower: how to clean, cook and prepare cauliflower