Cauliflower? Really?

Posted by Laney Sachs on January 20, 2012 0 Comments


Cauliflower (Cavolfiore)

 Cauliflower (cavolfiore in Italian) was one of those vegetables I ate but never liked. My mother cooked it only one way - steamed - which rendered it relatively tasteless and the kitchen smelling like...you know...  So I never made it for my family because they all professed to dislike it probably because the few times I made it for them it was steamed, tasteless and the house smelled. So imagine I bring a shopping bag full of terrific Ortensia Blu goodies to Marla & Bill's house for dinner and Bill is practically drooling as he unpacks everything.  He then excitedly says "This is great! -I'll use the Garlic & Peperoncino Herb Blend on the cauliflower!"  Cauliflower? Really? You're serving cauliflower? To guests? Ever the gracious and polite guest, I turn away to make my gagging face.  

Bill and Marla continue with their dinner preparations as I continue with a Prosecco. Facial expression in check,  I watch as Bill in his magnificent kitchen, happily tosses cauliflower florets with extra virgin olive, the Garlic & Peperoncino Herb Blend, spreads it on a baking sheet and pops it in the oven. 

Cauliflower (Cavolfiore)Garlice & Peperoncino Herb Blend

We all enjoy another glass of Prosecco as the rest of dinner is being prepared and finally sit down to a wonderful meal of meaty bbq'd pork ribs slow cooked all afternoon in the big green egg, a lovely, scrumptious Asian salad prepared by Marla, fresh cornbread and...the cauliflower.  It certainly looked okay...actually quite nice - golden and slightly caramelized, the red specks from the peperoncino peeking out, all glistening with the extra virgin olive oil.  And it smelled nothing like...you know...in fact, it smelled quite good - a little spicy with a toasty earthy aroma. 

Roasted Cauliflower(Cavolfiore Arrosto)

Ever the well mannered guest who tries everything, I put a couple of small florets on my plate next to the huge pile of succulent ribs hanging off my plate.  I push it around a bit, poke a tiny piece with the fork, take a bite and...I'm amazed!  The roasted cauliflower was incredible-incredibly wonderful! It tasted nothing like the cauliflower I ever knew and I proceeded to help myself to several more servings (Note-cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable in the same family as cabbage, ahem...just so you know...)  

So here's the Roasted Cauliflower preparation a.k.a. recipe with all the credit going to my friend Bill who taught me something new - toss the cauliflower with a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and a couple of teaspoons of Garlic & Peperoncino mix, put it on a baking sheet and in a 450° oven for about 20 minutes until it's a lovely golden color, dark around the edges.  And ignore your guests who make faces...

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