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Monday, December 23, 2013

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower



I have never been overly fond of cauliflower...until recently. 

I didn't know what to do with it.  My primary experiences with cauliflower were my Mom baking it whole in the oven and then spooning cheese sauce over the entire thing...or having it as part of a "steamed vegetable mix" alongside broccoli and carrots in a restaurant.  It was always just "meh".

However, we are really trying to decrease our processed carbs and boost up our veggies so I brought home a big (and I do mean huge) head of cauliflower a couple of weeks ago and went on an internet search for a good sounding recipe.  I landed on this Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower from Bon Appetit magazine's web site.  I gave it whirl and it was really outstanding!  After we polished off the entire HUGE head of cauliflower, I realized "hey, I should have posted that".  Hindsight...it's my routine level of vision some days.

So, today, we were having some steaks and I thought this would be a great side dish...and I wanted to post it before Christmas because I think it would be an awesome addition to a Christmas dinner if you are in search of another item to add to the table.  Mr. Flip Flop and I ran to the grocery store to get out of the house...I'd been decorating cookies since 7:30 in the morning and we both needed some fresh air.  I added the ingredients for this dish to my grocery cart...and I announced that I would be taking photos so everyone needed to be patient!

Here's the recipe - pretty much straight from Bon Appetit - the only change I made was using dried thyme instead of fresh - no luck in finding fresh thyme on our brief outing.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
Source:  Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

One head cauliflower
One medium onion (I used a yellow onion)
4 thyme sprigs (I used about 1/2 tsp of dry thyme)
4 UNPEELED garlic cloves
3 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the powder stuff)

Method:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the head of cauliflower into florets. I sliced most of the really large florets into 3 pieces.
If you've never dealt with cauliflower before
it might feel intimidating - but it really
isn't!


First wash, then remove the outer
leaves and discard.  Then, core the cauliflower
and separate the florets

Slice the onion and slice off just the bottom end of the garlic pieces - leave them unpeeled.

I had a really large onion - so used half.
Cutting the end makes for easier
squeezing after roasting


Toss all ingredients, except parmesan cheese, together on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Toss to coat all ingredients with
the olive oil - I find hands work best!

Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes.

Toss every ten minutes or so, or the onions will burn - I waited 15 minutes and they were already blackening. 
At the 15 minute mark - you can see the sides I tossed
were already browning nicely. Unfortunately, the onions
were already on the dark side of the moon.

It looks like a lot on the baking sheet in the beginning - but it does shrink during roasting.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, toss to combine, and continue roasting until cauliflower is tender, 10-12 minutes longer.
30 minute mark - this batch was ready for the cheese!

Parm on the goodies and ready to melt.

Note - the huge head worked perfectly with these times.  The smaller head I got today was finished in 30 minutes and ready for the Parm, and then only needed another 5 minutes after that.

After removing baking sheet from the oven, find the pieces of garlic, squeeze them out of the peelings and moosh it in with the mixture (moosh is a technical culinary term I am certain).  The lucky people who get the roasted garlic bits are blessed with goodness!

So, dinner was delish - Choice steak, roasted cauliflower, and fresh green beans.  Outstanding!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!


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