This roasted cauliflower is...wait where are you going?!
I know! It's cauliflower! I know! It's roasted, and what could possibly be new in roasted vegetables, and sure, your kitchen will smell like farts for a little bit, but I promise this is worth it. My perpetual problem with cauliflower is that it's bland and the texture...it's cauliflower. The fact that I can't think of much more to say about it than that about sums it up. But. Cauliflower is also wonderful. I love it in a curry, I'm a fan of cauliflower purees and soups, and have been meaning to try using it as a rice substitute, like this recipe.
The head of cauliflower is cut into wedges, rubbed with olive oil, salt and pepper, then popped in the oven wrapped very tightly in foil for a bit to steam it: The foil is then removed to brown the sides, flipping halfway through. The result is crispy, crunchy outside, soft and creamy in the middle. I won't say it's exactly like a potato, but it's damn close if you're looking for a substitute. Be careful not to over salt (you can always add more later), and be sure to let it get nice and brown.The leftovers are tasty, but it's best when it's fresh out of the oven.
I love the little crunchy bits that fall off and onto the tray: so much that I think next time around I might try chopping the entire head into little bits. Cauliflower popcorn!
The recipe is from my go-to book: the Cook's Illustrated Cookbook ("2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America's Most Trusted Cooking Magazine."). It's a collection of the best recipes from their magazines, and it's the first place I go for a recipe. I think it's even edging out my beloved Joy of Cooking. Look for it on this year's Food Lush Gift Guide. (Oh I know you think it's early, but it's only a few months away.)
Cook's Illustrated Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower (2 pounds)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt & Pepper
1. Adjust rack to lowest position and heat overn to 475 degrees. Trim outer leaves off cauliflower and cut stem flush with bottom. Cut head into 8 equal wedges. Place wedges cut side down on foil- or parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently rub seasonings and oil into cauliflower. Gently flip cauliflower and repeat on second cut side with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, salt, and pepper.
2. Cover baking sheet tightly with foil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to roast until bottoms of cauliflower pieces are golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Return baking sheet to oven and continue to roast until cauliflower is golden all over, 8 to 12 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
An alternative underneath the recipe recommends stirring two teaspoons of curry powder or chili powder into the oil before seasoning the cauliflower in step 1.