Roasted cauliflower might just become your new go-to method for making cauliflower.
Now I love cauliflower, but I understand that it seldom receives a warm reception and that it will regrettably never be the sweetheart of the vegetable world. Although I will eagerly eat it raw, steamed or puréed, it’s just not something that a lot of people get excited about.
So how do you transform this often overlooked, if not loathed, vegetable into something worth getting excited about? No, you don’t have to drown it in a mound of cheese sauce (although I have to admit it’s quite delicious that way as well) – you roast it.
Why roast cauliflower?
While roasting may not be the first preparation method that comes to mind when cooking cauliflower, it is so simple and the results so reassuringly sweet and tender, that it might just become your new go-to method.
Roasting cauliflower brings out its inherent sweetness and unearths a subtle nuttiness. I like to slice my cauliflower straight down from the top into thick slabs. I then toss the resulting slices, like branches of coral, with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper before sliding them into a hot oven. Browning occurs where the flat surface of the slices comes into contact with the heat of the sheet pan, coaxing out all those delightful sweet nutty flavors.
Here’s where those marinated olives with thyme and rosemary I was talking about the other day come into the picture.
While still hot, the roasted cauliflower is gently tossed with the olive mixture and the two are left to meld under the heat of the oven for just a while longer, roasting until the cauliflower is fork tender, accented by a few hints of golden brown crispiness here and there. Once out of the oven the cauliflower and olive mixture is punctuated by a briny dose of capers as I hover impatiently nearby waiting for it to cool enough to pick at a few pieces.
Top it with a shower of vibrant chopped parsley and a handful of toasted walnuts and it’s ready to devour.
Sweet, nutty, salty and creamy this is how cauliflower should taste.
How do you like to eat cauliflower?