Sunday, September 18, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower

Today was the day I lifted my self-imposed eat-leftovers/avoid-grocery-store rule, and I embraced it whole-heartedly.  I went to the store not once, but TWICE today.  I also spent quite a bit wandering around admiring all my options.  I think the staff started to wonder if I was lost or something, but nope! There were just so many possibilities. 

I eventually decided I wanted vegetables and I decided to recreate an Orangette recipe because I am in love with her vinaigrette.

I made Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Mustard Vinaigrette.

Here are the ingredients (I'll cover the vinaigrette after):

2 small cauliflower, about 1 pound each

3 Tbs good-quality olive oil
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fine sea salt
A few grinds of black pepper
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
My store had giant cauliflower, so I only got one.  My olive oil is also from Costco, so I wouldn't worry too much about quality unless you are picky.  I omitted the salt because I try to do that whenever possible, but I think salt would make it even better.  I think more lemon juice would be nice too, as I love the tang of lemons.  Finally, I would suggest adding a few pinches of nutmeg -- mine could have benefitted from more.

*Note - the recipe makes it sound like the cauliflower is left as two whole heads, while I chopped mine up into smaller pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Set a steamer basket inside a large, deep pot, and add water to a depth of ½ to 1 inch – just below the bottom of the steamer. Rinse and trim the cauliflower. Place them in the steamer, cover, and steam for 15-20 minutes. By this point, they should be tender and should have changed in color from a raw, opaque white to a slightly more translucent, yellowy off-white.

I didn't have a steamer basket, so I filled a large pot with a bit of water, got the water bubbling, and covered it for twenty minutes.  This worked just fine. 
Meanwhile, combine the oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a small bowl, whisking to mix well.

When the cauliflower is ready, gently transfer them from the steamer to a medium baking dish or small roasting pan, something just large enough to hold the two heads side by side. Using a pastry brush, paint the cauliflower with the oil mixture. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and place it in the oven. Roast the cauliflower for 30 minutes, basting every ten minutes. [You should have just enough of the oil mixture for three light bastings in total, including the first one.] Remove the foil, and continue to bake for another 10-20 minutes, until the cauliflower is pale golden and a knife can be easily inserted into its core.

- I put my cauliflower in a casserole dish and it worked great.  I also have a pretty crappy pastry brush, so I did more of a drizzle.  Once the foil was removed, I cooked mine for another twenty minutes and it started to brown up at the end.  I think it would be better to cook covered 25 minutes and uncovered 25 minutes, rather than 30/20.
Serve hot or warm, with vinaigrette.
Yield: About 4 servings (I ate it all, but it did last me about 8 hours :)

Red-Wine Mustard Vinaigrette
This stuff is seriously my FAVORITE.  I basically drink it with a spoon; it is that good.  Perfect portion of oil to vinegar to mustard.  Loved it with the cauliflower but it is also great with salad, etc.

1 Tbs Dijon mustard, preferably Grey Poupon
3 Tbs good-quality red wine vinegar
½ tsp fine sea salt
5 Tbs good-quality olive oil

*I left out the salt once again, but I am sure it is even better with the salt included.
Combine mustard, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl, and whisk to combine. Add the oil one or two tablespoons at a time, whisking continuously to emulsify. Taste to correct vinegar-oil balance, if necessary, and toss with your favorite salad ingredients. The dressing will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

This week I am back to the grocery store with a vengeance -- already have an apple tart to make and twice-baked sweet potatoes.  LOVING fall cooking!


Tanya said...

This sounds sooo good. I've seen so many Cauliflower recipes and have wanted to try them. Might be trying this one out :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds great. Have to try it.

Lauren said...

You know, I'm not normally a fan of cauliflower, but I would totally try this.

Kelsey said...

I love cauliflower!! Glad you all thought it looked so great :) my favorite is that delicious vinaigrette

Stephanie said...

This sounds delicious!