Monday, July 23, 2012

Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Oven Roasted Cauliflower
Oven roasted cauliflower
This dish will convert anyone to loving cauliflower and is so very simple. Cauliflower is an annual plant that reproduces by seed and of the same family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and collard greens. They are low in fat, low in carbs but high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C, thereby packing a whollop of nutritional density. In this recipe it serves as a spectacular vehicle for olive oil, lemon and garlic.

Be sure to select a heavy-for-its size cauliflower at the market with tight florets and no discoloration. If there are leaves they should be bright and intact, not withered and funky. Store the uncooked cauliflower in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a week. To prevent moisture from developing in the floret clusters, store with the stem side down.
  • 1 large white cauliflower, about 2 lbs, cut into 1 ½ inch flowerets
  • 1/3 C extra virgin olive oil
  • 2½ Tb fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly cracked white pepper
  • 1½ tsp minced garlic 
Preheat your oven to 375 degree F. To prepare your cauliflower, pull the leaves away from the base of the head and toss them. Trim any brown discoloration that may exist on the edges. Cut away any of the remaining protruding leaf-base. Wedge a knife into the core from the bottom, and split the core in half, using your hands to pry it apart if necessary. Slice through the core of each half. This will give you four quarters, each with much of the core exposed. Next, slice the thickest part of the core away from the quarter. Discard the core and thicker stems, or slice them thinly to cook with your florets. Like broccoli stems, cauliflower stems have a beautiful tender texture when cooked. Now just pull the florets apart with your fingers.
Fresh cauliflower
Fresh rosemary
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients (see above) except the garlic. Toss to mix well and place in a large baking dish or shallow roasting pan. Place in the oven and roast the cauliflower, turning once or twice, until tender and caramelized around the edges, about 30-35 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, stir the garlic into the pan.
Mixing the ingredients
Remove the pan from the oven and serve immediately. I know that both you and your guests will be both surprised and delighted by the “new” taste imparted from roasting the cauliflower. I could eat this and this alone and be happy. If you agree, add a glass of Riesling or Pinot Gris.


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