Happy new year! Yeah, I’m about a month late with the well-wishes, but one of our New Year’s Resolutions here at Casa Sass is to cook more and eat even better, and continue to support local food sources. And, write more. Because I actually love to do this, and it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of my “to-do” list by Big Important Life Things. Time to make our food conversation a Big Important Life Thing. Let’s start with roasted cauliflower!
OK so, that’s our preamble. Here’s the nitty gritty: roasted cauliflower is abso-freaking-lutely DELICIOUS, and if you have not yet tried it, you’re just going to have to. It’s easy, comforting, roasty-toasty, vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, paleo, diabetic-friendly, and probably [fill in the blank of whatever dietary restrictions you might have, here]. It is also SUPER full of healthy dietary fiber, packed with potassium, bursting with Vitamin B-6, and one head of cauliflower provides 472% of the day’s necessary Vitamin C. That’s not a typo.
Did I mention an entire head of cauliflower is about 140 calories? Yeah.
Cauliflower is a superfood. Superfoods should be given the opportunity to rise above the boiled-veggie treatment, and be able to revel in the delicious browned roasting treatment. Brown means things are happening. Brown means flavors are changing. Brown means flavors are CONCENTRATING! Browning gives us texture, flavor, and that awesome, comforting feeling that you can’t get from steamed peas or boiled carrots. Or steamed or boiled cauliflower.
You can basically flavor your roasted cauliflower with anything you like. Typically, I use a combination of salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, and then the herbs of whatever cuisine I’m feeling. Mexican? How about a little cumin! Italian? Oregano and basil, please. Indian? Cauliflower and curry were made for each other. We’ve done it with a bunch of different flavor profiles, and we have not yet gone wrong. The spices I used in the making of this particular day’s cauliflower were Fox Point (freeze-dried shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns) and Berbere seasoning (cayenne red pepper, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cardamom, cumin, black pepper, allspice, turmeric, cloves, Ceylon cinnamon and coriander) from my favorite spice place, Penzey’s. I highly recommend them for really cool spice blends. This particular combo was really awesome, and was absolutely delicious with some roasted chicken.
Roasting all KINDS of vegetables is awesome, and it really does concentrate their flavor and lend a delicious nuttiness to almost all of them. Think about the difference between a boiled potato and a roasted one, that texture difference, the warmth, all those things that make us want to shove them in our face with delight. This is what roasting does! Play with other veggies and let me know how it works out for you, but seriously — if you are not allergic to cauliflower, do yourself and those who eat your food a favor, and ROAST. IT. UP.
PS: This particular recipe fell into our rotation at Casa Sass after finding a 2.5 -pound head of cauliflower from a local farmer, recently at the winter Farmer’s Market. It’s such a great time of year for leafy greens, cruciferous veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, and do NOT forget stuff like yummy winter squash. When’s the last time you were at a farmer’s market? Go! Go!