Thursday May 10, 2012 | 04:30 PM

This is a head of cauliflower:

cauliflower_head.jpg

You might recall cauliflower as a cerebrum-like vegetable that your mom used to boil into limp submission a few nights a month. Perhaps she covered it in Velveeta in an attempt to hide the mishap. (And by "your mom" I mean your mom, not mine. My mom was too busy pulling burnt Wheat Thins from the toaster oven to do much damage to heads of cauliflower or anything else.)

Most Americans are familiar with the stuff - and how to steam the dickens out of it.

But you can also do this:

cauliflower_sauteed_570.jpg

Sear a slice of cauliflower in a pan with some oil to give it that golden, recently vacationed tan. Finish it in the oven at 350° for 10 or 15 minutes. Then you can put whatever you want on it. Preferably not burnt Wheat Thins.

cauliflower_withsalsa_570.jpg

You can do this too:

cauliflower_mashed_570.jpg

Treat the florets like potatoes, boil 'em, mush 'em, serve 'em to your low-carb dieting friends.

And together, let's put an end to cauliflower mistreatment and the Velveeta smotherings we remember from our youth.

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