Nutmeg is one of those spices that, in a savory dish, is hard to identify, but enhances the flavor in a subtle but very distinct way. This cauliflower soup is one of my favorite ways to highlight that subtle flavor.
Roasting the cauliflower first gives this soup a richness and sweetness that combines perfectly with the nutmeg.
1 large head cauliflower
2 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
1 medium onion
4 cups vegetable broth
pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
Separate the cauliflower into florets and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, or until you see nice caramelization on the edges of the florets. Chop the onion and saute in the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil until translucent. In a blender, combine the the roasted cauliflower, onion, broth and spices (I like this soup with quite a bit of fresh ground pepper) and blend to a smooth puree. Add to a sauce pan and heat through before serving.
Because nutmeg contains highly volatile oils, ground nutmeg goes bad quickly. It is best to purchase whole nutmeg and grate what you need each time. You can get a specialty grater just for nutmeg but I've found that a microplane grater works great and I can use that for other things like zesting citrus and grating ginger.
Here are just a few more ways you can use nutmeg in non-traditional ways:
- Try nutmeg on fruit: Just a little ground nutmeg raw or cooked apples, bananas, peaches, nectarines, or pears kicks up the flavor.
- Have it for breakfast: This spices goes wonderfully with egg dishes like quiche, omelets and scrambled eggs. Try it in oatmeal or pancakes, muffins and French toast.
- Add to roasted vegetables: Just a little sprinkling of nutmeg on vegetables as sweet potatoes, red potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, winter squash, add a warmth and richness of flavor that is almost subliminal.
- Try it greens: A little grating of fresh nutmeg along with a little bit of butter or olive oil on cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach will balance any bitterness in the vegetables.
In what ways have you tried nutmeg and enjoyed it?