The difference is, I've made it with tender sweet flowering cauliflower, called fioretto, instead of the usual clumpy florets.
See how light and delicate the fioretto sprigs are?
Here's how you'll find fioretto in the market. You can saute, steam, roast, put it in salads, really anything you would do with ordinary cauliflower.
Because I love Indian food, and Indian cooks are masters at fixing cauliflower, I turned to an Indian cookbook for a recipe.
The book was "Crack the Code" by Nandita Godbole, in which she breaks down the steps to make Indian cooking easy for anybody.
Godbole's cauliflower with peas was a winner. I adapted it slightly, using cut-up green beans instead of peas because I had those on hand and not peas. And I simplified by leaving out the potatoes she suggests but would include them next time.
ESSENTIAL PEAS AND CAULIFLOWER
From "Crack the Code" by Nandita Godbole
2 tablespoons oil
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 cup diced yellow or white onions
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (I used less)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup diced red-skinned potatoes, optional
3 cups trimmed cauliflowerets
1/4 cup peas, parboiled
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a large wok. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add the onions and saute until lightly golden. Add the ginger and garlic pastes and and saute until fragrant. Add the turmeric, cayenne, ground cumin and coriander Give a quick stir. If using potatoes, add them now and saute until their edges start to sear.
After this has cooked on medium-low for about 2 minutes, add the cauliflower and peas and mix until the vegetables are evenly coated with the spices. Lightly cover, allowing the steam to escape, and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir every few minutes.
When the cauliflower is tender, season it with salt and add the tomatoes. Stir and cook, uncovered, for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the tomatoes soften a little. Garnish with cilantro.
When I made this with fioretto, which is very light, it made about 4 servings.