Monday, August 30, 2010

Thanks for the Pretty Cauli-Flowers!

The finished product, taken with my BlackBerry.
While wandering the produce isles at Kroger I thought, "What veggie have I not attempted to cook yet?" I saw some intimidating looking plants, that if I had seen growing anywhere in nature I wouldn't equate to something you would put into your mouth. Celeriac, fennel, okra, and turnips...nah...a little too adventurous for this adventurer! There, in all of its glory, was a whole head of cauliflower...the creamy white florets nestled in the surrounding green leaves. It's a very pretty vegetable, unlike the okra which look like hairy little leprechaun fingers. This head of cauliflower was not wrapped in plastic like its more pristine counterpart, and it had a little brown discoloration to some of the florets. Something about fruits and vegetables that look a little too perfect makes me wonder.

I bought a book from Barnes and Noble a few years back called The Food Doctor: Healing foods for mind and body. I was drawn to the colorful cover, and inside in alphabetical order are all of the common fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and meat. They are all organized into a chart which includes a photo, list of nutrients, and their benefits to the body. LOVE THIS BOOK! At a glance I can see that cauliflower contains calcium, magnesium, folic acid (moms to be, take note), potassium, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. Not only is cauliflower "anti-cancer and [an] antioxidant," it is also "good for bleeding gums, kidney and bladder disorders, high blood pressure, and constipation." So you say you hate cauliflower and wouldn't eat it no matter how many redeeming qualities this beautiful Brassicaceae boasts? Does it look about as appetizing to you as cauliflower ear? I am willing to bet that the recipe I made last night will change your mind!

Robin Plotkin, R.D., L.D., culinary and nutrition expert, posted a link to a recipe for Oven-Roasted Cauliflower through her RobinsBite page on Facebook. With extreme confidence she stated, "I dare you not to eat the whole head of cauliflower after making this recipe!" If I wasn't splitting it with my boyfriend Josh, I most definitely would have polished off the entire thing! It is oh so easy to make and without a doubt I will be making it again and again!

Here is what you will need:

1 Medium head of cauliflower
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of sliced garlic (about two large cloves)
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (trust me, do not skip this ingredient)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly grated Parmesan, to taste (I used about 1/2 cup)
Chopped parsley
Freshly milled black pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375F

Rinse the cauliflower and separate into florets, try to make each floret about the same size so it cooks evenly. Saute the cauliflower in the olive oil over medium heat until slightly browned, adding the garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Transfer the cauliflower and the juices from the pan into a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for about 15 minutes. I checked after about 10 to make sure they weren't burning! Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle with the freshly grated Parmesan cheese and the parsley. The cheese should melt, and the cauliflower should be served immediately while it is still hot.

When I took the first bite, I could not believe how good it was! Thanks Robin for making my cauliflower experiment a success! For the original recipe go to FoodNetwork.

1 comment:

  1. Stomper will eat cauliflower, but I have to bake it in the oven with meat fat. I usually use bacon grease or red meat drippings. Do you think this cooking method kills all the nutritional value?