Monday, October 17, 2011

It's a Cauliflower of a different color!

Look at that color- what fun! You can find these beautiful varieties of cauliflower at specialty grocery stores or sometimes at your local farmer's market. Whenever I see them, I try to snatch them up. They're fun to eat and a nice change from the traditional white cauliflower (tell your kids that aliens eat it, and maybe they'll be more inclined to try it).

I used to think of cauliflower as a boring, bland vegetable, that could only be steamed and mixed with carrots and broccoli. Cafeteria food at best. But it doesn't have to be! I find roasting brings out its true flavor. It becomes buttery, brown, and melts in your mouth. One of my favorite ways to prepare it is with fennel and onions. It's a quick and delicious side dish that looks as good as it tastes. Of course, you can find cauliflower at the supermarket year round, but save it for when it peaks in the fall and winter months.


1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 medium fennel bulbs, fronds removed, cut into 1/2 inch slices
4 cloves garlic, well smashed
4 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine cauliflower, onion, fennel, and garlic in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss well, seeing that everything is coated in oil. Evenly spread the ingredients on a parchment or foil lined sheet pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until browned, but still crispy (toss ingredients halfway through cooking time to prevent sticking- you can add a little more oil if needed). Taste to adjust seasonings and serve warm.

  • You can combine this recipe with pasta. Double the recipe (bake on 2 sheet pans) and toss with your cooked pasta, drizzle with olive oil, season with more salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve. It's great with crumbled sausage too!

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