Oven Roasted Cauliflower
I think vegetables get a bad rap. People eat them because they should; they know that veggies are good for them so they dutifully choke them down so they can get to the “good stuff” in the meal. Or worse…they don’t eat them. They tell people, “oh, I don’t like vegetables.”
And this is the adults that I am talking about.
It gets even worse when it comes to kids. I have cringed to hear parents say, right out loud in front of their child, “he doesn’t like any vegetables.” Or even, I kid you not, “she doesn’t like any fruits or vegetables.” How could a child possibly not like one single fruit, the most delicious food nature has to offer? But that’s another blog.
Anyway, I think the deal with vegetables is that people don’t always know how to prepare them. If you think of vegetables as a limp, flavorless pile on your plate, it is not going to be very appetizing. Or, on the other hand, if you take healthful eating too far and try to eat them steamed so lightly that they are still halfway crunchy, unsalted, with no oil…well that’s no fun either.
Take cauliflower for example. All my life I never really liked it. I had eaten it steamed or raw…and wasn’t fond of it either way. But a couple of years ago I tried roasting it in the oven, because I had learned to cook asparagus that way — and I fell in love! Since then I haven’t prepared it any other way. Roasting brings out the rich, sweet flavor of cauliflower…the edges get slightly caramelized and it is oh, so delicious. Even my 4 year old took seconds on it tonight.
I almost hate to post this as a recipe, because it is so simple, but I’ll lay it out for you.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wash and chop cauliflower into small florets. Toss florets with olive oil and salt and place on a baking sheet. (If you use a rimmed baking sheet, you can toss the florets right on the sheet and save yourself having to dirty a bowl.)
Roast for 30 – 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so, until the desired tenderness is achieved. Roasting time will vary according to your taste preferences, how large you chopped the cauliflower florets (obviously, smaller ones will cook faster), and what type of pan you are using. I use a glass baking dish and it takes a little longer to get done. If you use a metal cookie sheet it will cook faster. Check it at 30 minutes and then test periodically from there.
Drizzle additional olive oil onto cauliflower and serve hot. Enjoy!
Skillet Rice and Beans
Alongside our scrumptious cauliflower, we enjoyed this rice and bean mixture with our dinner tonight. It was something I just sort of whipped up using ingredients we had on hand and not consulting any sort of recipe – leftover cooked brown rice, chopped red bell pepper, onions, garlic, cooked red beans, canned green chilies, an leftover ear of corn on the cob, and some spices. Unfortunately I can’t post a full recipe for you as I want to tweak it a little bit more, and I didn’t really write down any quantities or cooking times. My husband suggested that this could be a great burrito filling, so next time I am going to try tucking it into some whole wheat tortillas. I’ll keep you posted!