WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
Cauliflower today is a very different vegetable than I remember from my childhood. Usually, like broccoli, it is overcooked, mushy, and no flavor. Thanks to our growing culinary chefs out there they have taken these vegetables to another level of enjoyment. Cauliflower is so amazing in many ways from whole florets too making a pizza crust (which I have yet to try). Roasting the whole head of the vegetable brings so much delicious satisfaction and also makes a beautiful presentation. From a nutrition standpoint, cauliflower is very low in calories and high in some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need. It is high in fiber, a good source of antioxidants, and a perfect low-carb alternative to grains and legumes. This recipe is perfect right out of the oven or at room temperature.
1 large cauliflower
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus extra for basting)
2 teaspoons wine vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup Mesclun salad mix – tossed with a little olive oil, salt & pepper
2 tablespoons hot pepper garlic sauce – I love the selection at Eataly or Trader Joe’s
Heat oven to 375 degrees and place a cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat.
Place a small pan of hot water on the floor of oven to create steam.
Break off and discard the outer leaves from the cauliflower. Cut off the bottom of the stem, and then use the tip of a small knife to cut off the leaves closest to the stem. Carefully cut out the hard core of the cauliflower near the bottom.
Leave the main stem intact to keep florets secure.
Rinse the cauliflower and place on a cutting board, core side up.
Drizzle with olive oil and rub all over until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt.
Place cauliflower on the hot cast iron pan in oven, core side down and cook until tender all the way thru when pierced with a knife. (At least 1 hour or up to 2 hours).
During the cooking time, baste frequently with olive oil.
When it is almost done I like to broil it for a few minutes to brown the crust. However, watch it closely so you do not burn the florets.
For the sauce, combine mustard, vinegar, olive oil, parsley, salt & pepper. Add a few pepper flakes if you desire a little spice.
Serve cauliflower in the skillet or on a platter. Pour dressing over and garnish with mesclun greens on top with a lemon wedge, pomegranate seeds, and chili pepper sauce.