Thursday, January 17, 2013

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one of those lesser appreciated veggies. Too often it is simply served as a piece to a veggie platter, lacking any enthusiasm.  Growing up, my mom would steam a head of cauliflower and top it with breadcrumbs and butter. YUM!

Recently I hosted two large family holiday meals and decided that I wanted to have a few sides that weren't the traditional-all-American holiday side. You know what I mean - candied yams, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls with butter. So I went out on a limb and whipped up a side that was a little out of the ordinary.

I mean, where can you go wrong with garlic and Parmesan? Even the cauliflower skeptics tried it and were impressed. And preparation is super easy.

You will need:
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 4 T of Olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/3 c shredded Parmesan
  • You will need a preferably metal baking dish, lined with tin foil
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees

You will do:
1. Cut off the stem and leaves. Separate the florets, and wash thoroughly.

2. Slice the florets to about finger width (this isn't rocket science, approximations are ok).
3. Microwave the olive oil and garlic for about 20 seconds - enough to get the olive oil warm. This will allow the oil and garlic to marinate and release the garlic flavor.
4. In a large bowl gently toss the warmed olive oil and cauliflower slices to coat the cauliflower evenly.
5. Arrange the cauliflower on the lined baking dish in a single layer. It doesn't have to be perfect, and they can touch each other.
6. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the cauliflower.
7. Place in your preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Take a spatula and mix the cauliflower around a little. Then evenly distribute the shredded Parmesan over the cauliflower, and let it bake for another 10 minutes.

And voila! So delicious, soft yet crispy where it needs to be. 
 I'm going to come out and be absolutely shameless here - yes, I did pick the baked bits of cheese from the pan and savored their salty crunchy goodness. Feel free to do the same.


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