Cauliflower is not appreciated. In the world of vegetables, the bright and the beautiful seem to get most of the attention. Whether it is tomatoes, carrots, chard or beets, the colorful vegetables call much of the love in their direction, while cauliflower is all too often an after thought.
Just like its cruciferous family members, broccoli, kale and cabbage, cauliflower is a wonderful tool for good health. One serving provides nearly a full day’s supply of vitamin C, and plenty of vitamins B and K, minerals and cancer-fighting phyto-chemicals. Winter is also the time to find the best cauliflower.
Since cauliflower’s benefits and best methods for preparation are often not highlighted, it is most often boiled and salted. This is a shame, because not only is cauliflower packed with nutrients, but it is also versatile and delicious.
An incredibly easy and tasty way to prepare cauliflower is roasting. It allows the nutrients to remain, rather than getting washed away from boiling, and the toasty flavor is a big hit with kids, as well as adults.
1 head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon chipotle, ancho, smoked paprika or other single chili powder
Begin by heating the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the cauliflower into florets of similar size, to ensure even cooking. Use a citrus zester, grater or peeler and remove the green part of skin, or zest. Chop as necessary. Toss the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and chili with the cauliflower and place on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Wait! Don’t throw away the stem or leaves. The stem can be cut into chunks and roasted or saved for juicing. The leaves taste very similar to cabbage and are great juiced, sautéed, or in salads.
Roast for 25-30 minutes, and test with a fork for desired doneness. When ready, remove from oven and add lime zest. Some pieces may be a little darker than others, but that is okay because there is flavor in that color. Taste, adjust seasoning as necessary, and serve with a smile.