Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Learning to like cauliflower

For years, I have disliked cauliflower. It was either crumbly waxy stuff with a cabbage-y tang lying forlornly next to a bowl of sour cream dip, or rubbery salty stuff on a steam table. It didn't look or taste like anything I wanted to eat and I avoided it. It was the type of food people serve because "it's good for you" and because you can't make a dip tray with only carrots.
Then my mother discovered Indian cooking. In particular a roast cauliflower and potato recipe that was fiery but fabulous. And because it had been roasted, it had texture, unlike the horrible steamed to death stuff I remember from the school cafeteria.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower
Below is a suggestion for a spice mixture, but if you don't like/have fennel seeds, use whatever spices you like. I've used cumin seeds, garam masala, powdered garlic, red pepper flakes, etc. it's really quite versatile. But remember that whatever spices you use, they must to be able to stand up to the cabbage flavor of the cauliflower.
  • 1 medium head  of cauliflower
  • 2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil


1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Use 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to coat a roasting pan or baking sheet.
3. Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces.
4. In a large bowl, mix together the spices and the rest of the olive oil.
yummy spices!
5. Add the cauliflower to the spice mixture and toss to coat.
6. Spread the seasoned cauliflower on the prepared roasting pan and put in the oven to roast for about 20 to 30 minutes. It should be nicely browned.

 This can be eaten as is. It also works well with leftover chicken or steak mixed into it. I like putting a big dollop of plain yogurt on it. I think that pomegranate seeds would add a sweet crunch and be pretty too. Toasted walnuts would be a nice touch. This stuff is versatile.

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