My caulis are getting away from me. Only three or four left in the garden now, which is fairly nicely timed because the white cabbage moths are just starting to appear and in a couple of weeks it will become a battle not worth the prize to keep them off the Brassicas. Fairly nicely. We’re not quite keeping up with them and the last few are being harvested a little late, heads loosening up and florets with longer, light green stems. I could, I should, harvest them while they still look like perfect supermarket caulis and give the extras away. But we’ve developed a bit of an addiction to roasted cauliflower, and these slightly blown ones make the best roasted cauli. And there’s only a few left. Greedy.
Roasted cauli is a surprise. It is so so so much better than you would think. The basic recipe is: just chop the cauli into florets, not too small. With these ones I cut lengthwise through the florets to leave quite a lot of stem on. Put them in a big bowl, sprinkle generously with olive oil and salt and pepper, toss well to coat, spread in a single layer in a roasting pan, and roast in a hot oven for around half an hour until they are just tender and getting little caramelised browned bits. Best just that little bit undercooked but browning, which needs a hot oven.
Just like that is hard to go past. We ate this bowl for lunch with fingers straight from the bowl. But it’s also good hot as a side dish or cold in salads or blended with stock as a soup. From there though, there are any number of elaborations possible.
- A s sprinkle of finely grated parmesan and back into the oven till it melts and browns (this is probably my favourite).
- Or a generous sprinkle of dukkah
- A squeeze of lemon juice and a couple of cloves of garlic crushed in with the olive oil (or perhaps this is the favourite).
- With some dried chili if you like it spicy (Lewie’s favourite)
- Or a spoonful of tomato paste
- Or a couple of big spoonfuls of tahini
Really though, I think you can easily overelaborate food. Maybe just salt, pepper and olive oil is the favourite.