Winter is officially here, at least in my part of the world. I’m watching snow come down as I sit at my laptop. My drafty old house—that will be turning 100 in January—is not all that warm. So it’s a good time to start using the oven to give my house a little warmth boost.
Cauliflower, a veggie that was once maligned as boring, has enjoyed a renaissance in the past few years. It’s being used as a grain substitute—think cauliflower rice. I’ve also seen ground cauliflower used as the base of a pizza crust.
I’ll admit that I’ve always liked it (as has my big orange cat, Pushkin), steamed, stir-fried, sautéed and puréed. I’ve recently taken to roasting it. It’s really quite good with only minimum flavoring, such as olive oil, salt and pepper. But I thought this Indian-spiced recipe from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone looked good, so I tried it. I served it with a simple dal and basmati rice. It was quite excellent.
Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric, Spice and Cilantro
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1/2 t turmeric
- 1/2 t paprika (plus more to finish)
- 1 t roasted, ground cumin
- 1 t coriander
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 3 T coconut oil
- fresh-ground black pepper
- yogurt (optional)
- a handful of chopped cilantro leaves
- Roast the cumin seeds in a skillet until fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Heat the coconut oil on low heat until liquid.
- Heat the oven to 425°.
- Cut the cauliflower into small, bite-sized florets and slice or dice the stems.
- Toss the florets with the oil, salt and spices until coated. Place in a single layer on a large sheet pan. Roast for 30 minutes, turning the florets occasionally for even browning.
- Remove from oven when done. Drizzle with some yogurt if you like and sprinkle with a bit more paprika and some fresh cilantro.
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