caramelized cauliflower with salsa verde

April 7th, 2009

I have never had the urge eat cauliflower, let alone make it. It’s pretty enough, but it kind of smells and quite frankly, vegetables have always been low on the rung for me. It’s bad, I know. But then, while reading “A Homemade Life“, I came upon a recipe for caramelized cauliflower with salsa verde that actually made my mouth water a little bit. To say I was surprised to want to try a cauliflower recipe is an understatement, but there’s a first for everything, right?

The next time I was at the store I picked up a head of cauliflower and prepared to venture into cauliflower land. One of the reasons the recipe sounded so tasty was that it was accompanied by salsa verde, which makes just about anything delicious. I’ve made salsa verde before, but this seems to be the simplest version I’ve ever made. Bonus points for that. Then came cutting the cauliflower. I thinly sliced the white flowery head and parts of it fell into a fan on the cutting boards while others sprinkled across the table. I gathered all the cauliflower and tossed it in a bowl and then drizzled olive oil over it. After making sure that each piece was covered, I carefully spread the pieces across a baking sheet and put it in the oven, still unsure of whether this little foray was going to be worth it.

I opened the oven door and the little white slices were turning bronze, so i flipped them over and waited a while longer until they all looked crispy. When they were done, I gave us each a serving, topped off with a spoonful of the salsa and took a deep breath. Oh boy, was this recipe spectacular. I mean, really, really awesome. The cauliflower gets crispy and caramelized and is so full of flavor, it almost tasted like candy. Vegetable that tastes like candy? That’s what I’ve needed my entire life! The salsa adds a nice pizazz the sweet cauliflower, but you could totally eat it without it. This recipe is so good in fact, that I, picky eater, went to the store the next day to get another head of cauliflower to do it all over again the next night.

Caramelized Cauliflower with Salsa Verde
from A Homemade Life

For the Salsa Verde
1 medium jalepeno, ribbed and seeded, then finely chopped
2 T finely chopped cilantro
2 medium cloves garlic, minced with a pinch of salt
3 T fresh lime juice
4 T olive oil
salt to taste

For the cauliflower
1 medium cauliflower
2-3 T olive oil
salt to taste

Prepare the salsa verde first. In a medium bowl, combine the jalepeno, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and olive oil and whisk to combine.
Add two pinches of salt or more to taste and whisk well. Set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.
Preheat oven to 450°
Wash and dry cauliflower well. Place it on a cutting board, stem side down and slice it vertically, top down, into 1/4 inch slices.
Put the cauliflower in a large bowland toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, making sure to coat all the pieces. If necessary, add 1 more tablespoon.
Spread cauliflower in a single layer on a heavy sheet pan, or if the pan seems crowded, use 2. Salt it lightly.
Bake until the cauliflower is tender, golden and evenly browned in spots, 20-30 minutes, turning once with a spatula. Salt lightly again.
Serve cauliflower hot or warm, with salsa verde on the side fro drizzling.

Comments: 12 Total

  1. carolyn

    April 7, 2009 at 7:35 am

    so interesting! i love cauliflower, but have never experimented much with it. now i think i need to!

  2. jane b

    April 7, 2009 at 8:20 am

    morning kel! a totally non-cauliflower question for you: do have a great vanilla cake recipe in your repertoire? thank you! x

  3. Kelly

    April 7, 2009 at 8:54 am

    hi jane!
    i made some vanilla cupcakes a long time ago but they were so good that i happen to remember where they came from. ahhh martha :) good luck!

  4. maya

    April 7, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    i too dislike cauliflower but this looks and sounds delish. will have to try it out!

  5. Elyse

    April 8, 2009 at 12:43 am

    Wow, you’re right: this recipe does make your mouth water. I so have to try this! That crispy, caramelized cauliflower looks absolutely delicious. How fabulous! I first came over to craving cauliflower after trying cauliflower mash–pureed cauliflower with a bit of milk and cheese added during the food processing stage! Delicious!

  6. Jayme

    April 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    I just roasted cauliflower in the oven for the first time last week and it was sooo good just with salt, pepper and a little bit of olive oil. I’m a veggie lover in general, but I almost never use cauliflower. That will definitely change, and I will have to try out this recipe!

    Are you not toally in love with A Homemade Life?! I’m about half way through Molly’s book and am looooving every word of it. I’m taking the last half slow, purely for savoring purposes.

  7. Carrie

    April 9, 2009 at 8:18 am

    What an interesting idea! The flavors sound like they would taste so good together.

  8. tiffany

    April 15, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Tried this the other night and it was amazing, thank you!

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