Roasting a head of cauliflower as if it were a pot roast

Some foodstuff, these as the rooster breast or a block of tofu, are a sort of “canvas” against which a cook dinner can paint other and ancillary flavors, aromas, even textures.

Enjoy this recipe for roasting a head of cauliflower as if it were a pot roast.
Take pleasure in this recipe for roasting a head of cauliflower as if it were a pot roast. Photograph by Monthly bill St. John, for UCHealth.

The cauliflower is this kind of a canvas. It has its own charms: its comely appearance, its cooked creaminess, nearly a nut butter when tender. But it also normally takes on any engaging taste handed to it. Louis XIV of France savored it braised in rooster or veal inventory, flavored with a sprinkle of nutmeg and slathered in sweet butter—to this working day, a delightful recipe.

The cauliflower is one particular of the roughly 400 species of cabbage, Brassica oleracea together with broccoli (from which it originally was “trained” or propagated), a flowering cabbage. All cabbages are amongst the additional historical of veggies, grown and eaten in advance of recorded historical past in especially the areas of Europe and the Near East.

A studio portrait of a head of cauliflower, which can be roasted much like a pot roast.
The head of cauliflower can be roasted substantially like a pot roast. Image by Invoice St. John, for UCHealth.

New, genetically modified versions of cauliflower appear these days, these types of as orange cauliflower (with 25 periods the vitamin A of the widespread white edition) and cauliflower’s cousin, the Romanesco, coloured the flesh of the avocado or the liqueur Chartreuse and whose futuristic fractals have been examined by architects to come across new models for buildings.

The cauliflower is also extraordinarily functional in the kitchen area: it may possibly be eaten raw, lightly cooked, “riced,” cooked via then mashed or puréed, steamed, braised, roasted, sautéed, stir-fried or merely boiled. And, once more, with any of these preparations, most any excess flavoring offers by itself as a helpmate.

I have uncovered a new way of breaking the cauliflower into florets, anything I often discovered aggravating since of the cauliflower head’s tendency to “rice” or send its wee white ball bearings all more than the slicing board, kitchen area counter and floor. After eradicating what you desire of its core, slice it into slabs about 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick. Lay a slab down flat and minimize out or along any department, breaking away the dimensions of floret that you’re following.

To rice cauliflower (on goal, ha) only grate the head against the huge holes of a box grater or pulse it up to eight instances in the bowl of the meals processor. View out for the BBs they’ll be all over the place.

Shop for cauliflower (now available 12 months-very long) by finding up a head it need to come to feel weighty for its size. The florets ought to be tightly packed together, with no substantial grey or brown places to mar them and with whatsoever leaves are existing firmly clinging. Keep in the fridge by removing its plastic wrapping, wiping it down and re-wrapping it in paper toweling and a further plastic bag.

Cauliflower is rich in nutritional vitamins C, B and K and quite a few mineral salts. Its concentrations of vitamin C are increased than orange juice.

Total Cauliflower Pot Roast

Tailored from, Jamie Oliver’s “Jamie Cooks Italy” and Cook’s Illustrated “Vegetables Illustrated.”  Do not omit the anchovy it lends considerably umami and any fish flavor disappears in cooking. Salted, dried capers are out there at finer grocery merchants these types of as Entire Food items, Tony’s Current market or Marczyk Good Food items do not omit them both. Serves 4-6.

Substances for roasted full cauliflower recipe

1 complete head cauliflower, outer leaves eliminated and stem slice off at the base

1 28-ounce can tomatoes (full peeled or massive diced)

1 14-ounce can tomatoes (entire peeled or big diced)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, peeled, quartered and each quarter broken up into its “petals”

6 oil-cured anchovies (or 2 teaspoons anchovy paste)

6 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and rough-chopped

1/3 cup dried golden or environmentally friendly raisins

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or additional, to flavor)

1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence, crumbled in palm of the hand (or extra, to flavor)

1/2 cup eco-friendly or kalamata olives, pitted

3 tablespoons salted, dried capers, rinsed perfectly and squeezed

Chopped refreshing flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Instructions for roasting a head of cauliflower

As if coring the major of a tomato or apple, eliminate a cone-formed area from the base of the core of the cauliflower. Established the head aside.

To a foods processor, add the tomatoes in batches and pulse 7-8 times, until rough-chopped. Pour each individual batch into a bowl or container so the processor bowl does not leak.

Warmth the oven, with a rack in the lower middle, to 450 degrees. In a huge, hefty-bottomed pot, Dutch oven or cocotte that will healthy, covered, the total head of cauliflower standing up on its base, heat the olive oil around medium-significant warmth and toss in the petals of onion, permitting them get started to wilt and transform translucent (6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally).

Take away the onions to a facet bowl with a slotted spoon or spider. In the oil in the pot, prepare dinner the garlic and the anchovies (or anchovy paste), breaking them up, for 30-45 seconds, just right until aromatic. Toss in the raisins, purple pepper flakes, herbes de Provence, olives and capers and cook and mix every thing properly, 2 minutes.

Reintroduce the onions to the pot, then the pulsed tomatoes, stir effectively and provide to a simmer. Nestle the head of cauliflower down into the sauce, stem aspect up, spooning some of the sauce more than the cauliflower. Protect the pot and location in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Eliminate the pot and, utilizing huge tongs or two large spoons, on both side of the cauliflower head, gently transform more than the head of cauliflower in the sauce, now placing it stem side down. Spoon some more sauce over the cauliflower, and set the pot again in the oven, now uncovered, for 10-15 minutes more, right up until the blade of a thin knife easily enters and exits the head of cauliflower at its centre.

Remove and permit the pot sit to relaxation, uncovered, for 12 minutes. Minimize the cauliflower into wedges and serve with generous spoonfuls of the sauce and other vegetables, garnished with the chopped parsley.

Arrive at Monthly bill St. John at [email protected]

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