Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cauliflower: A Love Story

Ahhhh, glorious cauliflower!  It is truly one of my all time favorite vegetables.  Not only is it packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids, and a slew of B vitamins, but it is delicious!  "Ummmm, no it's not."  That's probably what you are thinking but I assure you, it is.  I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge fan of the veggie tray cauliflower that sits idly next to the other more colorful and exciting vegetables just waiting to be dunked in copious amounts of ranch dressing to make it appear more tasty.  That, my friends, is no way to eat this wonder veg!

There are many ways to cook cauliflower but roasting is your best option for stepping into the light and loving cauliflower as much as I do.  One more awesome thing about "cauli" is that my Hubby and son love it right along with me.  It is very kid friendly however, like broccoli it can make your little one a bit gassy.  I'd wait until they are at least 10 months old and start with small amounts to see how they handle it.

So let's get roasting!

You will need: extra virgin olive oil, salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, lemon, and parmesan cheese.  I also add crushed red pepper flakes but we were all out.  I omit the "crushed reds" on the portion I will be giving to the baby.

Chop the "cauli" and place on a foil lined baking sheet.

Drizzle florets with E.V.O.O.  The cauliflower will soak up the oil pretty quickly so you do want to be pretty generous with the drizzling.  BTW - We happened to be all out of E.V.O.O. as well (we've been in B-day planning mode so we are behind with the groceries) but my wonderful Hubby reminded me we had the bottle my mom brought back with her from her trip to Turkey!  I was excited to use it. :)   

Then season with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Sometimes I will even add real minced garlic instead of powder or even add some lemon zest at this point. 

Roast in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  You want the florets to be fork tender and I even like to let them get crisped up around the edges.

As soon as they come out of the oven add the lemon juice.  About 1-2 tlbs or so.  You want to do this while they are still piping hot out of the oven.  Also grate the paremsan cheese over them, and toss.

You certainly could have tossed them half way through the cooking time of you don't like so much caramelization on the bottoms but I like to leave them alone... that caramelized goodness is what it's all about! 

So there you have it!  My dreamy roasted cauliflower.  It is so yummy and easy you will want to make it all the time.  Plus one head of cauli makes plenty of servings, it's inexpensive and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand.  We eat it with fish, steak, chicken or pork chops.  I put it in with whole wheat pasta for the baby and I've even pureed his and added it to guacamole as a secret ingredient.  It sounds random and weird but he loved it!  I've also shared these recipes as another scrumptious option for making my fav veg. 

Give it a try and let me know if I've turned you into a cauliflower enthusiast like me!  Happy eating!

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