I can never pass up a recipe that includes a vegetable, lemon and red pepper flakes. These ingredients can add so much to the flavor of a vegetable and transform it from a boring side dish to something for which you're reaching for seconds and thirds. This recipe calls for a few spices, and a lemony dressing tossed over roasted cauliflower -- that's it, and suddenly something as bland as cauliflower is knocking your taste buds off.
The one big change I made to this recipe is the amount of time that I roasted the cauliflower. I like veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower to be just a bit crunchy, and not all the way tender. So I roasted these for about 22-25 minutes, until browned but not totally soft. Depending on how you like your veggies, you can adjust the roasting time for anywhere from 20 to 35 minutes.More on The Cooking Project.
I'm vacationing in the French Alps for two weeks and it is heaven for a person who loves to cook. Before I left home, people were telling me about restaurants I should visit, but we have yet to eat out. My travelling companions are also excellent cooks, so for us, the pleasure in finding great ingredients makes us want to cook.
Yesterday we went to a farmers' market in a little medieval town and there were some differences in my own market that were immediately apparent. First, almost every vendor allowed you to sample their wares. A guy selling olives had about fifteen different kinds and said, taste whatever you want. The fruit seller gave you whole apricots to try. The cheesemongers (and there were an astonishing number of them) all had their cheeses out on tables, which would never be allowed in Toronto. It was a hot morning, and by the time the market closed the smell of cheese permeated the air.
The cauliflower were absolutely perfect, and I just had to have one. This is a very simple recipe that you can make ahead and then just dress the roasted cauliflower just before you are ready to serve it. The photo is of the cauliflower after roasting, before being dressed. The recipe is from the website Food52.
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon
1 head cauliflower, cut into stemmed florets (about 4 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey (use agave nectar for the vegan version)
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1. Pre-heat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss the florets with a tablespoon or so of the olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Grease a jelly roll-style cookie sheet (or shallow roasting pan) with a bit more olive oil. Spread the florets out in one layer on the prepared pan.
2. Roast the cauliflower for 30-45 minutes, until it is cooked through and dark brown - even black - in most spots.
3. In the meantime, whisk together the lemon juice, honey and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Whisk in a tablespoon of oil and set aside.
4. Once the cauliflower is roasted to your liking, remove the pan from the oven and place the cooked cauliflower in a large bowl. Toss with the lemon zest, crushed red pepper, parsley and a pinch of salt. Mix well, taste and adjust for seasonings, and serve warm or at room temperature.