Monday, November 1, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower

I have a new love, dear readers. It's a funny story, actually. We've known each other for ages. We weren't good friends, or anything, but we would see each other at parties and receptions. I would always say hello, and we'd chat a bit, but I never thought much of her. My eyes were always drawn away to the vibrant oranges, reds, and greens that invariably accompanied her. I figured that she hung out with the more desirable vegetables because she had low self esteem. Clearly, she didn't want anything better for herself or she would DO something about her blandness. Don't get me wrong, I always thought she had a little something special going in the way of texture, but who wears all white every single day of the year? It's kind of creepy when I think about it that way.

Finally, we've had a bit of a breakthrough. When I made a run to the tiny store down the street to pick up some kale for dinner, all they had was one sad, single, solitary head of cauliflower. I groaned, of course, but I would have groaned even more loudly at the prospect of a dinner without vegetables. Basically, she really was the last girl at the bar that night, so I resigned myself to her. I decided to take it as just the next thing in a long line of sad compromises and settlings-for that combine to produce adulthood. Imagine my delight when I discovered that all this sad little cruciferous really needed to shine was a break from the endless parade of crudite platters and mushy, over-steamed medleys. I'm not saying that she's the only one for me. Far from it. There's plenty to go around, ladies. But I'll never again walk by her at a party without winking and telling her she's pretty.

Roasted Cauliflower (the way god would have intended if he existed and cared about such things)

1 head cauliflower (splurge for the organic!)
1/2 c raw pepitas
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Break the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and arrange haphazardly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and stir about to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Sprinkle with pepitas and return to oven for an additional 10-15 minutes. When it's ready, the cauliflower will be golden and tender, and the pepitas will have puffed admirably, like only pepitas can.

I've messed around with this a bit, adding onions, shallots, fennel, and the like, but I think I prefer it just like this. The only thing that kicks it up just that one additional notch is to squeeze a fresh orange over it immediately before serving.

1 comment:

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