Special in its ultra-simplicity, roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite ways to eat this commonly under appreciated brassica. The deep, nutty flavor brought out by roasting makes this dish a great side to anything from grilled meats to garlicky dips and spreads. Anne from Gaining Ground Farm had a gorgeous assortment of purple and white varieties displayed last week at market.
If you often ignore cauliflower for lack of knowing what to do with it, you will be pleasantly surprised how flavorful it truly is, tossed with nothing more than olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper before a brief hiatus in the oven. I like when some of the best dishes are this effortless.
Here are some more reasons to put this veggie on the table:
Cauliflower contains a phytochemical called sulforaphane which has been associated with preventing cancer. Another chemical also present in cauliflower, known as indole-3-carbinol, enhances the repair of DNA, decreasing the rate of cancer cell growth. In particular, those who consume high levels of cauliflower have a reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
In addition, you gain a relatively high amount of fiber, folate, and vitamin C when consuming the vegetable. Eat up. . .
*2-3 fresh cauliflower heads, rinsed and chopped into florets
*extra virgin olive oil
*fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss cauliflower florets with enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Spread onto a lined baking sheet and roast until slightly golden, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven. Serve warm or cold.
Add toasted pine nuts, almonds or fresh chopped basil after roasting.