Friday, February 20, 2009

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower and Food Phobias

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli.” –George H.W. Bush

Much like our 41st President, cruciferous vegetables haven’t always been my thing. Broccoli and cauliflower kind of grossed me out as a kid, as they were A) healthy, B) not made entirely of sugar, and C) shaped like flora. Back then, I climbed in trees. I didn’t eat them, much less drown them in cheese.

Fortunately (unlike G.H.W.B.), I got over the broccoli aversion pretty fast, since it could be added to pasta, thus disguising its prolific nutritional value. Cauliflower, on the other hand? Not so much. Up until late last year, it still gave me the willies pretty consistently (though not as much as mayonnaise).

Then, on Christmas, family friend Mrs. D (hi, Mrs. D!) made Cauliflower Gratin. (I’m think it was Ina Garten’s recipe, but I’m not 100% on that.)

Dude, have you ever had one dish – a single serving – change the way you felt about a food? This was that good.

Sadly, as is endemic of nearly all Ina’s recipes, it had a little too much butter, milk, and delicious, delicious cheese to reproduce for this blog. So, since then, I’ve been searching for recipes that would build on that experience. Y'know? Expand my cauliflower mind a little.

Then it happened: Roasted Garlic Cauliflower. A lovely, lower-fast dish from All Recipes, it derives most of its flavor from olive oil and copious amounts of garlic, along with a semi-generous roasting time. The combination emphasizes the cauli-flavor without hitting you over the head, which I can get down with.

As far as a verdict, I would gladly eat it again, and not spit any out into my napkin. The Boyfriend, a certified (and certifiable) caulif-lover, declared it, “really good.” So – triumph!

For future dishes, I’m thinking of trying Curried Cauliflower Soup and Leigh’s Indian-inspired dish from yesterday. If y’all have any suggestions, please send them along. Because when it comes to my food phobias, I need all the help I can get.

P.S. Nutrition numbers came from All Recipes, so only the price is calculated here.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
Makes 6 side servings
Adapted from All Recipes.

2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste

1) Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray a baking dish or pan with cooking spray.

2) In a medium mixing bowl or large Ziploc bag, combine olive oil and cauliflower. Mix thoroughly. Spread in dish. Salt and pepper to taste.

3) Roast 25 minutes, stirring the cauliflower about 12 or 13 minutes in. When finished, remove from oven. Sprinkle parmesan  and parsley on the top. Broil 3 to 5 minutes, until parm is lightly browned.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
127 calories, 8.7 g fat, $0.49

2 tablespoons minced garlic: $0.16
3 tablespoons olive oil: $0.35
1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets: $1.49
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese: $0.91
Salt and black pepper to taste: $0.02
TOTAL: $2.93

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Alex said...

Next time you roast a chicken, use cauliflower tossed with garlic instead of carrots. They taste amazing cooked in chicken fat.

Elizabeth said...

Smitten Kitchen has a wonderful cauliflower and pasta recipe:

I'm not usually a big cauliflower fan, but my husband is, so I made this for him. I LOVE it (and so does he)!

Jewel of Toronto said...

I adore roasted cauliflower and cauliflower cheese but whenever I see a great big head of cauliflower at a decent price I think of only one thing; Morrocan stew (with chickpeas). Yum!

Jaime said...

I got really into cauliflower last winter. There's something so zen about cutting down a big head into florets.

I love pureeing the stuff. It's super delicious, though when I reheated it my office was all, "What smells like dead mice??" And I was all, "Didn't your mothers teach you manners?" So be strong. And tasty.

Marcia said...

this is really funny, because I am making a similar dish for a potluck tomorrow (with addition of lemon, I think it's Emiril's recipe).

Ashley said...

I love curried cauliflower soup - just don't use the purple cauliflower - I tried it once and the color was so gross I almost couldn't eat it...

E said...

OR you should pretty much use the same ingredients... but saute them... then add chicken broth and hit it up with an immersion blender. It becomes the creamiest most delicious soup ever!

Anonymous said...

I made this recipe a few months back and Boyfriend went crazy for it. He swears he didn't know he liked cauliflower until he tried this ... also can easily be turned vegeterian by subbing veggie stock.

Cari said...

I've recently discovered Garlic-Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes." The cauliflower is pureed so the dish looks like mashed potatoes; it has a similar texture too, but much healthier. Quite tasty too - I liked it better than regular mashed potatoes.

The recipe I used came from the Splendid Table Cookbook, "How to Eat Supper":

Michele Bardsley said...

I made George Stella's Mock Mashed Potatoes:


monica said...

Oh my, I absolutely adore roasted cauliflower. I usually do mine with garlic powder, curry powder and paprika, but I love your Italian twist. I will be making this soon. Thanks!

Nancy said...

I'm going to try this. I've always liked cauliflower but my girls can take it or leave it. Last spring I finally found a way to fix asparagus that my girls will eat and it's so simple. Fresh asparagus coated with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil in the oven until it has a nice roasted appearance, turning halfway through. Now they eat seconds. We're having it with dinner tonight.

Brian said...

I love Cauliflower and have tried a similar recipe the problem my kids or wife don't like cauliflower so i had to eat the whole thing myself.

Becca said...

I agree with the mashed cauliflower and the cauliflower soup comments. If you need a recipe for the soup, check out David Lieberman's:

I usually leave out the parmesan. It's quick, easy, cheap, and delicious.

My mate claims to love cauliflower, but I can't get him to eat it whole in any dish except plain old steamed cauliflower, or I'd love to try the posted recipe. The soup, though...just try the soup.

Kris said...

Oh you guys, this is great, and I'm definitely hearing y'all on the soup. There's still half a head in my fridge, so maybe I'll give it a shot this week. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I love the Cauliflower Cheese Pie from the Moosewood Cookbook. It has a grated potato crust.

ambitious said...

I'm sorry. I still hate cauliflower!

Chocoholic said...

I like most every veggie, but broccoli and cauliflower make me picky. I don't like the florets of them raw, only the stems. If you cook broccoli, it's fine. Cauliflower I'm just getting into. I do like it curried. I will have to try this recipe since, well, everythign tastes good with garlic. :)

Anonymous said...

Did you every try putting cauliflower in a simple bechamel sauce? Just make a roux- equal parts butter and flour, cooked together, a couple of tablespoons of each- and then add milk and simmer until it is thickened? Add salt and pepper. Pour it over steamed cauliflower. That is how my mom served it to me when I was little and I loved it.

Jessica604 said...

I *love* cruciferus veggies. They were one of the few vegetables I loved eating as a child...this is from my mother and grandmother telling me that "eating broccoli and cauliflower will make you grow like a tree!"

Years later I used the same phrase to bribe my younger cousins into eating them, and now, we are all tall... :p

jessica @pianomomsicle said...

i was catching up on my google reader and found this yesterday. Made it for lunch today (along with mac and cheese) and it was awesome! Because it is cauliflower, my husband had already decided he didn't like it while it was cooking, but i doled out half for him anyway and he didn't leave any of it. :)
Thanks for the awesome recipe! i will definitely be making it again!