Roasted Cauliflower: A Cruciferous Delight!
With fall in full swing the seasonal change is apparent not only in the cooler weather but in new farmers market treasures, from the delicious varieties of potatoes and squash, also on my ‘to cook list’, to the cauliflower in a lovely assortment of colors ranging from traditional white to buttery yellow and green variations I had yet to sample. I eat cauliflower regularly enough, and in many forms, but roasting is one preparation that I don’t often have and screams of a perfect fall dish.
I sometimes do overlook cauliflower -- the poor cruciferous stepchild to its more exciting siblings -- but as the selection at the farmers market stared up at me I knew what I had to do! The roasting process can take a little longer than other preparations but the prep is simple and the end result offers a richness and depth of flavor that is well worth the small wait.
Many prefer to roast the cauliflower whole, which offers an impressive presentation, but in the interest of weeknight time saving I opted to break apart the heads into smaller florets. *Be sure to keep fairly consistent in size so that the cook time will be the same for all the vegetables in the roasting pan.* I roasted my cauliflower at 450° F for approximately 30 minutes. Cook time will vary depending on the size of the pieces you have in the dish.
1 ½ pounds of cauliflower florets
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of chopped garlic
2 lemon wedges (approximately ¼ of a lemon)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Wash cauliflower and remove green leaves. If the stems are short you can opt to leave them in or if you feel they are larger and too fibrous you can remove. (Since my pieces were smaller I kept most of the stems intact and did enjoy them.)
3. Place cauliflower in roasting pan with chopped garlic and olive oil; toss the mixture, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place uncovered, in preheated oven.
4. Leave the cauliflower in the oven for a good 15 minutes before you even look in on it—this allows for a nice browning to occur on one side. At the 15 minute mark toss the pieces around in the pan and place back in the oven for approximately 15 more minutes, until all pieces are fork tender.
5. Remove from the oven and squeeze with lemon and a bit more salt, serve immediately and enjoy!