Monday, January 9, 2012

Orange Rosemary Cauliflower



For me, there's something about cauliflower that echoes winter.  Maybe it's the pure white raw color.  Maybe it's the clean crisp stalks.  Or maybe it's the idea of snow-covered treetops.  Whatever the reason, I think about cauliflower when it snows.  But I haven't been thinking about cauliflower. And I haven't seen any snow.  Last year Boston got hammered with eighty-one inches of snow, just shy of seven feet.  So far this season, we've had one measly inch.  It's bizarre really.  Winter, where are you?  I miss the anticipation that ensues on the brink of a predicted nor'easter; the empty milk and bread aisles, the communal commotion, snow blowers and shovels sold out for miles.  I miss seeing waist deep newscasters reporting with yardsticks and kids sledding in the center of town.  I miss tough city guys guarding their shoveled parking spots, marked with orange cones and lawn furniture.  Mostly, I miss the snowy treetops.  


It wasn't until I stumbled across a recipe in The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends that jolted thoughts of the forgotten cauliflower.  Tara Austen Weaver had a series of giveaways during the holidays, and I just so happened to be the lucky winner of this cookbook, which arrived right before Christmas.  You can read her lovely description of How to Eat Weekends on her blog Tea and Cookies, a long time favorite of mine.  I've bookmarked quite a few recipes that immediately stood out, including Golden Pie of Winter Vegetables in Cinnamon Pastry.  It's a beautifully photographed and fun read, laced with quotes, trivia, and humor.  I'm excited to add it to my growing collection and certain it will serve as continued inspiration.  A big thank you Tara.




The Splendid Table's cauliflower recipe involves a puree with rosemary and orange zest, an interesting new stand in for mashed potatoes.   I haven't tried this pureed version just yet, but did opt to roast my cauliflower with orange and rosemary.  I hope you'll forgive me for all this roasting business.  It's an irresistible method for preparing most any vegetable, especially the winter varieties.  I also appreciate the extra warmth emanating from the oven in the cold months.  Besides, pulling brown and tender cauliflower florets from the oven is fairly rewarding.  The flavor is unique; just a hint of woodsy citrus in the background.  A fresh splash of orange juice finishes it off at the end. I'm going to continue eating my cauliflower and longing for snowy treetops.  But you know what they say...be careful what you wish for.


~Orange Rosemary Cauliflower~
Inspired by The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends, Kasper and Swift

1 head cauliflower, cut into segments
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp orange zest, finely grated
1 tbsp melted butter
sprinkle of sea salt
1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine olive oil, rosemary, and orange zest.  Place cauliflower on a baking sheet and pour the mixture down over top.  Use your hands to combine and coat the cauliflower.  Once well incorporated, add the melted butter, tossing and coating again.  Sprinkle with sea salt.  Roast for 30-35 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and browned.  Toss occasionally around 10 minute marks or so.  Remove from the oven and add fresh squeezed orange juice over the cauliflower, turning with a spatula and scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan.  Serves 2-4 as a side.

15 comments:

Sarah (Snippets of Thyme) said...

I love cauliflower. I have been seeing several recipes lately where it is roasted. I am convinced I will love the one you prepared. I can't wait to try this. I used to make a mashed cauliflower using sour cream (low carb diet) and cheeses. It was delicious but if not doing the 'low carb' then not too healthy.

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

What a great idea to use the orange zest and juice with the cauliflower - love this!
mary x

Stephanie said...

Thanks Sarah-roasting cauliflower is delicious. If you give it a go, let me know how it turns out for you.

Hey Mary-glad you like the idea. It's really refreshing.

Amy said...

Oh dear, your post is a reminder to me-- where is the cauliflower in my life?? I usually love it in the winter, but I don't think I've eaten it at all yet. Boo! I'm going to pick up some next time I'm at the store and try out this recipe. I love the idea of orange juice with it, yum.

Miss Makes-a-Lot said...

looks delicious! I just picked up a head of cauli to try The Kind Diet's roasted cauliflower "steaks" with fennel - I might try a little orange zest on there too! YUM :)

Sue/the view from great island said...

This looks great Stephanie, I'm loving anything citrus during these dreary cold days.

Clair said...

Looking delicious as always. And this is a flavor combo I would never have thought of!

jacqui said...

Mmm, love this flavor combination! Is there really anything better than roasted cauliflower in the winter?!

tori said...

I love how nutty cauliflower gets when you roast it. And I'm completely with you on the warmth of the oven- crazily- for half of last winter I didn't need to put the heat on at all in our London flat- I just put something in the oven and it does the rest....a multitasking meal.

Elizabeth said...

Visited your lovely blog over lunch today. I think we are on the same kale-celeriac-caulifower winter wavelength... (I probably eat more pastry, though.) Last night I roasted cauliflower with chili and Meyer lemon, just coming on here in CA's Central Valley.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Happy you stopped by Elizabeth. If my pastries looked like yours, I'd eat more pastry too ;)

almostveg said...

I make so much roasted cauliflower but would have never thought of this flavor combination. Tks for sharing.

Lena said...

I read all over the blogworld that the winter is missing in their part of the world, too. We had one cold week and some snwo the week before Christmas, but other than that, nothing. I hope winter returns for a few days, at least, but at the moment it feels like spring. Really strange.
The mashed cauliflower you mention sounds great, too. Do you have to roast the cauliflower for that? I would love to give it a try! The combination sounds wonderful.

Stephanie said...

Hi there Lena-we did just get another inch the other day and now the bitter cold has moved in. The mashed cauliflower doesn't involve roasting. It's boiled. If you want to shoot me an email I'd be happy to send along the original recipe.

Amy said...

Roasted cauliflower is probably one of the most delicious ways to eat vegetables ever, but the addition of rosemary and orange sounds really great!