We're headed for that part of the year when vegetables are wintery pale. Using what George calls my "fancy spices," I've decided to drum up some excitement in advance with this cauliflower recipe. My husband, George, is a cauliflower hater, also a curry hater. But there's something about golden brown, tiny, florets that makes this cauliflower seem a whole different vegetable. Honestly, it is still not his favorite, but I also don't have to goad George into eating large spoonfuls when I cook it this way. On the other hand, I have to remind myself not to consume the entire remaining portion — it's THAT good. Delicately spiced with yellow curry, smoked paprika, and cumin, this is a flexible side dish that will have you licking the pan clean.
Curry Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 4 as a side
1 head of cauliflower, washed and left to dry
2 T olive oil or vegetable oil
1-2 tsp yellow curry powder, use more if you like curry and spice (my husband doesn't)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika, optional
generous sprinkle of salt & pepper
Heat your oven to 450º while your cauliflower air dries. Thinly slice the cauliflower heads, using up to 2" of the stems if you like, until the pieces are no more than 1" in diameter and about one-eighth to one-quarter inches thick. The tinier, the better. Those minute, crumbly pieces will be the best bits. Pour your florest onto a large rimmed baking sheet and add the oil and seasonings onto the tray. Use your hands to toss everything together and spread the cauliflower evenly in the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the cauliflower and bake another 10 minutes. It's done when the floret edges go a caramelly, golden brown. Sprinkle the whole pan with salt and pepper, then toss one last time. Eat while it's hot!
- Simple salt and pepper works well if your eaters like cauliflower already.
- You can also roast the florets with salt and pepper only and then drizzle with browned butter and sprinkle with fresh sage leaves for an entirely divine treat.
- For a mexican variation, use 1 tsp cumin + 1 tsp coriander with a dash of garlic or onion powder instead of the curry and paprika.
- Leftover curried cauliflower mixes well with a hearty lentil soup.