Cookbook Profile

Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4, $5.00 or less

Roasted Cauliflower


I am confused by people who profess their undying hatred of cauliflower. "Are we talking about the same cauliflower?" I wonder, sometimes using my external incredulous voice—it's beyond my control, so shocked I am by statements of cauliflower contempt. Especially given that I think roasted cauliflower may, in fact, deserves its very own cookbook. Roasted Cauliflower Pie, anyone? My next words after the thinking-out-loud blunder are usually, "have you not tasted the nutty perfection that is roasted cauliflower?" Ahhh, but you must, and then let me know how you feel.

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Cut the cauliflower head lengthwise into 4 approximately equal parts—we're making 4 handy individual serving-sized pieces of cauliflower here.

3. In a large mixing bowl, toss each quarter individually with the olive oil. Do not fret if you don't completely cover the quarter in oil, everything will still turn out just fine. Transfer that first quarter to a 9 by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining cauliflower-head quarters. Season generously with salt and pepper, and place each quarter cut side down.

4. Start roasting. About 20 minutes into the cooking process, flip the cauliflower-head quarters so that the other cut side rests on the baking sheet. Roast another 15 to 20 minutes, until all cut sides are browned at the edges and the florets have begun to brown.

5. Remove the cauliflower from the oven, place a floret quarter on each individual's plate, ideally next to a Roasted Chicken Leg with Olives (page 73 of the book) or steak of some sort, and then sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon of the grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Be prepared for the nearly unbearable nutty-tasting scrumptiousness that roasted cauliflower gives as its gift to you. You have been warned. And I dare say transformed, should you have been one of those cauliflower haters to start.

Variation: For a very, very satisfying meal, chop the roasted cauliflower after you roast it. Then toss the pieces with about 14 ounces of whole-wheat spaghetti and 8 tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter, and top with the cheese. The wheat pasta and cauliflower combine for a very satisfying concert of toasted, nutty flavors, and the dish comes together quickly and easily. Add to that, it's meat free, and you won't but barely notice, so satisfying is the nuttiness of this combination.

Estimated cost for four: $3.97. The cauliflower head cost $2.99. Four tablespoons of olive oil are 48¢ at 67 tablespoons from a 33.8-ounce bottle that costs $7.99 using Whole Foods store brand olive oil. Grated Pecorino Romano from my favorite Italian market is $7.99 per pound. We are using approximately 50¢ worth of cheese here.

If you're feeling a bit fancy, substitute grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, which costs $18.99 per pound. One ounce therefore costs $1.19, adding 69¢ to the tally.


Buy Poor Girl Gourmet


Poor Girl Gourmet


This page created October 2010