Monday, November 9, 2009

Amazing Cauliflower

That's a new concept, right? I doubt most of us think of Cauliflower as amazingly delicious. Growing up we had the tasty steamed/boiled cauliflower with cheese sauce. It was good and pretty much the only cauliflower recipe I knew. Over the last few years, my vegetable horizons have been expanding. I think it may have started with WW when I wanted to get the benefits of a great low-points food that one loses when you douse it in cheese. Besides, I was pretty convinced that the cauliflower itself might just be pretty tasty without that added flavors.

I have tried MANY different recipes trying to find an irresistible cauliflower recipe that I can add to our mix and look forward to. I was also hoping for a minimal number of ingredients. Most recently I tried this recipe from 101 Cookbooks. It was close, but not quite right. I've been thinking that I was looking for some variation of roasted cauliflower as roasting has worked so well with many other veggies. I tried the roasted cauliflower from Simply Recipes as well as various other sites, but theyended with uneven cooking and not the carmelization I was hoping for.

On Saturday, Brent had driving duty in the evening so the kids and I were home alone. When this happens we often have odd dinners. (OK, so we usually just have popcorn). We had our popcorn as a snack, but I felt we needed some vegetable action and had a small head of cauliflower on hand. I looked at my recipe shelf and pondered who might have a roasted cauliflower. I landed on A Homemade Life. This is the book brought to you by Orangette. You may remember, I attended the book signing for this book last March. I haven't used the book that much since, but was delighted to find a variant on Carmelized Cauliflower.

The recipe in the book includes a salsa verde for drizzling, but I didn't have those ingredients on hand so I just made the cauliflower. Later, I discovered that she has the simple version online. I've paraphrased below with my preparation notes and slight alternations.

First, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees. High heat is part of the key here. Next, you just wash and dry your cauliflower and slice it into 1/4 inch slices. Not many of these will hold together, but that is fine. (I think this slicing was the other key as you end up with smaller pieces giving you more surface area and making it easier to cook through quickly.

Toss cauliflower bits with olive oil (I used 1T with one small head of cauliflower). Her recipe just adds salt. I added minced garlic as I rather think garlic makes everything better. I used two cloves, but suspect one small one would be most people's preference.

Toss all these ingredients, pour the mixture out evenly onto a cookie sheet and grind a little pepper over it. Into the oven it goes for about 20 minutes or until there s plenty of dark golden or brown spots turning once. It may take longer if you have more cauliflower. Presto- delightful, delicious - my perfect cauliflower recipe. I completely devoured it.

--- One caveat--- this is best if eaten just after it comes out of the oven. Mine cooled as B suddenly wanted to take his bath. I put it back in the oven briefly to warm it up and it was wonderful.

Go ahead, try it. Make cauliflower amazing!

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