Cauliflower: I owe you an apology. In almost two years of writing about my favorite foods on this blog, I’ve only mentioned you once. Maybe twice. I hope you’ll allow me to make it up to you by making you the star of this post.
Now I’ll admit that there’s nothing terribly exciting about raw cauliflower. It’s certainly good for you (like other cruciferous veggies, it’s high in anti-cancer compounds and it contains plenty of vitamin C), but I honestly find it kind of blah. Pleasantly crunchy, but blah.
When it’s roasted, however, cauliflower is transformed into something really tasty. And I upped the sexiness factor even further here by dousing it with blood orange olive oil and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar (recently purchased from The Filling Station in NYC).
I cannot get enough of cauliflower when it’s cooked this way. I’ve made it three times this week: once, I forgot to add the garlic; once, I used tarragon instead of mint; and once, I tossed 3 giant peeled, chopped beets into the mix. I liked it all three ways, and believe it or not, my kids love it too. We fight over the crispy, oily cauliflower bits left on the roasting pan which, I guess, is better than fighting over lots of other things…
Recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic and Mint
*1 head of cauliflower, preferably organic, bottom trimmed off and separated/chopped into florets
*6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
*4 tablespoons olive oil- I used blood orange olive oil, but you could use any fruity olive oil
*2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar- I used a dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, but you can use regular or aged balsamic, or your favorite mild/sweet vinegar or Meyer lemon juice instead
*1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (or use fresh tarragon, parsley or basil)
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
2. Place the cauliflower florets interspersed with the unpeeled garlic cloves on a roasting pan. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil.
3. Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven (the pan will be very hot) and give the cauliflower a good stir. Put back in oven and roast for 5 more minutes. Carefully taste and see if it's to your liking, or if it needs to cook for a little more time. You want it to be pretty well done, but not burnt.
4. Remove from the oven. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and add back to the cauliflower. Drizzle on the vinegar and the additional tablespoon of oil. Mix everything well, and garnish with the chopped herbs. Allow to cool slightly before serving.