Hater To Lover
First, let me say that I used to hate cauliflower.
I hated it raw. I hated it boiled. I hated it steamed. The only way I would tolerate it was smothered in cheddar cheese sauce. When our friends Wil and Carolyn had us over for dinner and served roasted cauliflower, I wanted to be a good guest, so I took a small serving and hoped it wouldn’t be too terrible.
It was a revelation. Gone was that bitter, sulfurous taste, replaced with lovely chewiness and a crispy exterior.
When I saw this recipe in Sunset magazine, I knew I had to try it.
I’ve renovated it slightly, removing the extra lemon juice at the end, which added too much acidity for me. I’ve added chipotle powder instead of cayenne, because everything tastes better with a smoky flavor. If you like spicy food, use a hot curry powder like Madras. I use a medium curry powder, but be sure to ask in the store as they all vary so much.
More Ways To Experiment
If you want to create more of a main dish meal, add 6 red potatoes, scrubbed, and then pre-cooked 3-4 minutes (boiled or microwaved). Cut them into medium chunks after pre-cooking. Cut up a peeled yellow, white, or red onion into chunks. Double the oil/seasoning blend and toss all the veggies with the cauliflower. I bake the potatoes in a separate pan, as they often need a little more time, even when pre-cooked. You can add two links of low-fat chicken or turkey sausage for the carnivore in your life and call this a meal.
This is also an excellent and surprising way to prepare sliced plantains. Flip them after 10 minutes of baking, and check after 20 minutes. They will burn more easily.
If you have leftovers, you can throw them in a blender with vegetable or chicken stock and puree them into a lovely soup.
Roasted Curry Cauliflower
Makes 4 side dish servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder or cayenne (optional)
- 1 head cauliflower
- Preheat oven to 450°. Wash the cauliflower and shake it dry. Remove the leaves and cut out the core. (Note: You can compost the leaves. I cook them and feed them to my dog, but she’s used to vegetables.)
- Cut the cauliflower in long slices, about 1/2 inch thick.
- In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, curry powder, salt, and pepper.
- Add cauliflower slices (and optional other vegetables) and toss to coat. Spread vegetables in a single layer in a large baking pan that you have sprayed with oil spray.
- Bake until cauliflower is tender, chewy, and brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir after 15 minutes, flipping the slices over with tongs.