I’m sneaking under the wire here to share one of my simple cooking favorites. Weekend Herb Blogging rules are changing so that we use exotic veggies and expand our horizons…and cauliflower doesn’t fit the bill!
Cauliflower has a bum rap, no way around it. Some people don’t like it raw or boiled, and so they assume that they don’t like it at all. But roasting gives a totally different dimension to the flavor, and there are so many great spices you can add. I thought I first read about roasted cauliflower with paprika in Joy of Cooking, but I looked back and it’s not there, so I have no idea where I first got the thought, but there are so many other flavors that work as well (or better, I think). I didn’t even offer it to my DH for a while, and then I got him to eat a piece. And gradually over months, he’s stealing all my cauliflower! I’ve had more success getting him to be a cauli-convert than I have with any other veggie.
So you can’t really go wrong as long as you roast. You can do high heat for a shorter time and stir more often, or lower heat, and get busy doing other things. I’ve tried it as low as 350, which takes a long time, and I’ve seen recipes as high as 450. However, the higher temperature you use, the bigger issue of development of acrylamide, a chemical which is cancer causing in high doses. I usually opt for lower and slower because I always have a ton to do and hey, I’m a nutritionist. What do you expect??
You can really get creative for spices, from cumin seeds, to panch phoron, to rosemary, to chili powder, to lemon and dill. Just use sea salt, the texture does matter here.
It’s hard to give an exact recipe, as caulis come in all sizes, and it depends on how much of the stems you use and all of that.
1 cauliflower, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1-3 Tablespoons of oil
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
1 bulb (not clove) of garlic
pepper, to taste
Cumin: add 1.5 teaspoons whole seeds
Panch phoron add 1.5 teaspoons whole seeds and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Rosemary: add 3 Tablespoons or so fresh rosemary needles or 1 Tablespoon dried
Chili:Add 1 T chili powder
Lemon dill: squeeze juice of one lemon and add 3 Tablespoons fresh dill or 1 T dried. Omit garlic.
Preheat oven to 375-400*. Remove the biggest garlic bulbs from the garlic ‘paper’ but leave the small ones. Chop cauliflower and toss with salt and seasonings. Spread out on a cookie sheet LINED with parchment (you’ll be glad you did.)
Roast until nicely browned around the edges, stirring every 15-20 minutes.
Rediscover cauliflower…isn’t it good?!
*see discussion above