Cauliflower can make a carb-friendly side dish, and you can use it in lieu of rice or a potato.
Use a fresh head of cauliflower, if possible. I think I am still traumatized by my parents’ generation of opening a box of frozen vegetable and boiling it to a mush. Eek!
One of my favorite ways to cook a fresh vegetable is to begin with about an inch of cold salted water (or chicken stock) in the bottom of a pan, using a pan just slightly bigger than the quantity of vegetable you want to took – and one that has a tight fitting lid. For cauliflower, I use a medium covered saucepan. Add the vegetable to the cold water in the bottom of the pan, cover and set the pan over high heat. Bring to a roaring boil, where steam is spewing out of the lid (but don’t take off the lid). Then, turn off the heat, and just leave the pot right on the burner to cool down. Leave the pot tightly covered and do not lift the lid. After 20 to 30 minutes of cool-down, drain off the water and your vegetable will be tender but not mushy.
For the chopped cauliflower, after the water is drained I like to add some seasoning (salt & pepper, seasoned salt or Sazon Complete is good) and drizzle with a little olive oil before chopping it up — right in the cooking pot.
PREPARATION TIP: to prepare a head of fresh cauliflower for cooking, I like to turn it upside down on a cutting board, with the leaves and tough root facing up. Using a sharp knife, cut right through the leaves at a 45-degree angle to the stem, working all the way around until the tough stem pops out. Then you can easily remove the rest of the leaves. The head should remain intact.
For this recipe, put the whole head into the pan of salted water, and cook as directed above — you do not need to break up the florets.