I happen to love cauliflower. But until I discovered this way of roasting cauliflower, I could only serve it to Mr. C. either drizzled with a lovely rich cheese sauce or with “secret sauce” (mayonnaise flavored with soy sauce). So when I prepared cauliflower this way for the first time I was a little reluctant. I shouldn’t have worried in the least. Mr. C. loves roasted vegetables and both cumin and curry are two of his favorite flavors.
Besides the wonderful flavor of this dish, it is fabulous in that it can be served either hot or at room temperature. So preparing it ahead of time is no problem. Well it’s no problem if you have a safe place to keep it until you are ready to serve! Just don’t make the same mistake I’ve made in the past. Removing the cauliflower from the oven and setting it on a counter believing that there will be any left by dinner or party time is taking a very daring risk. Somehow, a goodly portion of the cauliflower always seems to mysteriously disappear. So if you make it ahead for a party, make plenty! And yes, roasted cauliflower (or any roasted vegetable for that matter) is perfect to serve as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre. Many people are health conscience and truly appreciate when something delicious and nutritious is served along with the other offerings. (And truth be known, roasted veggies are reasonably inexpensive to serve as appetizers. I’m always trying to look out for your pocketbook.)
So next time you want to serve an old favorite in a new way, think about this cauliflower dish. I think even the discerning palate of a 6 year old could be swayed from the dark side into liking cauliflower when it is prepared this way. If not, there’s always “secret sauce”.
- 4 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 T. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lg. cauliflower, cut into small flowerets and dried thoroughly
- finishing salt*
Combine 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, curry, salt, and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Gently stir in cauliflower making sure flowerets are completely coated with oil. (It will seem like they are very lightly coated, but that is exactly what you want!) Spread out on a roasting pan and bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven until cauliflower is starting to get tender and browned, 15-20 minutes. Pour cauliflower out onto a platter, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and lightly sprinkle with a finishing salt or kosher salt and pepper.
*Finishing salt – my name for the fancy salts that can be added at the last minute to brighten the flavor of everything from veggie dishes to caramel sauce. i.e. fleur de sel (flower of salt in French) or sale di Sicilia con limone (Sicilian salt with lemon), etc.