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Monday, October 29, 2012

If you hate cauliflower, try this

Photo and text by KARA DiCAMILLO/ecoRI.org News contributor
Growing up one of the vegetables that I disliked the most was cauliflower. It was one of those vegetables that came in the frozen medley, along with diced carrots and peas, and it never really had any flavor.
A few years ago, a friend served cauliflower with dinner so I thought I would give it another try and I actually enjoyed it. The important thing that I’ve learned with cauliflower is that you need to make it flavorful. Just by using a few simple ingredients like olive oil and garlic makes cauliflower so much tastier.
I found a beautiful head of cauliflower at the farmers market this past week. My recipe is derived from “Barefoot Contessa,” and after making it I promise you won’t find that cauliflower is no longer flavorful. If you serve it at a dinner party, you just might find that there will be new cauliflower lovers among the bunch.

Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic and Parmesan
Serves 8-10
Head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
Head of cauliflower, cut into even-sized florets
5 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt
Freshly cracked pepper
Half cup of parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of parsley, minced
2 tablespoons of basil, minced
3 tablespoons of pine nuts
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil and then add the garlic cloves. Let the cloves boil for about 30 seconds, remove from heat and drain. Peel the skin from the garlic and slice each clove in half lengthwise.
Spread the cauliflower and garlic on a large baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss together so that the cauliflower is even coated (I do this with my hands) and then spread evenly on the baking sheet. Roast for about 30-35 minutes, tossing twice, until the cauliflower is browned. Pull the baking sheet out, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and roast for another minute or two until the cheese has melted.
Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan toast the pine nuts over low heat for about 10 minutes until they are lightly browned. If you burn them you’ll need to start over.
Scrape the cauliflower mixture into a large bowl along with the juices. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, parsley, basil, pine nuts and lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.