November 30, 2004

cauliflower that even cauliflower-haters will love

I made this tonight for a group of friends, some of whom are vegetarian and needed something yummy to substitute for the turkey tetrazzini I made to use up the last of the damned turkey. (Tallasiandude has declared a moratorium on turkey consumption because all the tryptophan gives him hangovers.) It went over huge, and I have nothing left to photograph -- the veggies loved it, the carnivores loved it, and one friend who hates cauliflower loved it. It comes out savory and spicy and a little tangy, and nice & soft & brown & roasty. Easy as hell, too -- make a spice vinaigrette, toss with veg, roast. I got this recipe out of Bon Appetit Sept 2004; it was credited to reputedly-fabulous LA restaurant A.O.C. and billed as Roasted Curried Cauliflower. I made a half recipe using one head of cauliflower.

12 cups cauliflower florets (4 lbs)
1 lg onion, quartered
1 tsp coriander seeds (or 1/2 tsp already ground)
1 tsp cumin seeds (ditto)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3.5 tsp curry powder (I used madras)
1 tbsp hot paprika (I used hungarian hot from Penzey's, which is pretty spicy -- supplement with cayenne if yours isn't spicy)
1.75 tsp salt (I used kosher salt & it was plenty salty, so if you use table salt, I might cut back a little)
fresh ground pepper
fresh cilantro (very optional)

Preheat oven to 450F. Put florets in large roasting pan or cookie sheet. Separate onion layers and add to pan. Toast coriander & cumin over medium heat 5 minutes till slightly darkened, then crush in a mortar & pestle. (Frankly I think you could skip this step, especially if using already-ground spices, but then again I am lazy and kind of a philistine when it comes to toasting spices.) Combine all the spices & salt & oil & vinegar and whisk or shake to blend. Pour over vegetables & toss to coat. Spread in a single layer, grind some pepper over, and put in oven. Roast until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. I found that 35 was just a shade too long and they were starting to burn, but my oven runs hot. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro if desired. These can hold 2 hours, and are good at room temperature or hot, and can be rewarmed at 450F for 10 minutes if desired.

I am actually thinking about making up a batch of the spice blend, so I can have it on hand to use for roasting vegetables in this way at the drop of a hat. Spice, vinegar & umami -- what's not to love?

Posted by foodnerd at November 30, 2004 10:15 PM
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