Sometimes the cauliflower at the market is just too beautiful to be ignored. Huge heads with tight flowerets – so bright white. It captures my attention and even though I was not thinking of cooking cauliflower – I change my mind. I get inspired.
That happened yesterday, at the family-owned produce market just a couple blocks from my house. It was the rock bottom price that caught my attention. The wonderful cauliflower rewarded my decision.
It’s simple to roast vegetables. Turn your oven to its hottest setting. Then clean and trim your vegetables, but don’t cut them too small or thin. Toss everything with a crushed garlic/bay leaf/olive oil mixture. (Not too much, you are not frying things…) Add salt and pepper.
I like to use a very heavy pan that is large enough to hold everything with some room left over – and also heavy enough so that it will distribute the heat evenly. A simple aluminum pan may be problematic – but you can deal with that with more attention…
Put your oil/herb-covered vegetables into the HOT oven and let them roast. Stir/toss them every 20 minutes or so (more frequently if your quantity is small). Keep an eye on it. I say – let ‘em roast a little longer than you may think is right. Get that braised char on the vegetables.
Plate beautifully, maybe add more salt and pepper – then enjoy your roasted vegetables.
These days cauliflower is in season, but this works for every firm vegetable, and even soft ones like zucchini. Go for it.