Cauliflower isn’t the sexiest vegetable.
It’s lumpy, it’s bumpy, and it kind of looks like it’s made of wax. Decades of abuse by well intentioned crudité trays and low-carb devotees have made our primary association with this brassica a bland, squeaky mess that smells like someone gently farted into a shoe. They leave it raw, which is just gross, or steam it to death, ruining its gorgeous texture. But Cauliflower can be fucking good. While it may never be Beyoncé, it doesn’t have to be LaTavia Roberson.
Think of cauliflower as Kelly Rowland. It’s a great, easy to work with side and, occasionally, it makes an outstanding main dish all on its own.
The key to making Cauliflower delicious— the key to making any food you may be averse to delicious— is handling it properly. As with all cruciferous vegetables, proper handling means roasting. Cooking hot and more or less dry minimizes the damage done by glucosinolates (also known as the sulfur rich compounds that makes veggies get stinky) and adds layers of deliciousness via the Maillard reaction. While cauliflower may not be inherently sexy, it’s also not garish or showy. It’s subtle, you could even call it sophisticated. Its sweetly nutty, creamy stalks make a perfect canvas for bold flavors like curries, ballsy tomato sauces, or, in this case, all of the garlic, parsley, and lemon in your zipcode.
Serve it as a cozy side for mussels, or try it on top of a big-ass salad as a surprising, vegan sub for chicken breast.
- 1 head Cauliflower
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 cup Parsley, finely chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- Juice and Zest of ½ Lemon
- 1 tsp Paprika
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with tinfoil or a silicone liner to save yourself a few minutes of scrubbing.
- Remove the leaves from the Cauliflower and try to not damage too much of the stem. Thoroughly rinse, and then slice the Cauliflower into ½ inch slices. At the ends, you will have odd bits that are a little less pretty, and that’s okay. They get extra caramelized and taste great.
- In a large bowl combine Olive Oil, Parsley, Garlic, Lemon Juice and Zest, Paprika, and a small pinch of Salt. Carefully toss the Cauliflower in this mixture and arrange in one even layer on the cookie sheet. If you have extra of the marinade/mixture/stuff, slather it on top of everything once its on the tray.
- Roast in the oven (obviously) for about 15 minutes, or until things are golden brown and crispy on the edges.