Recipe: Roasted and spiced, it's a winner
Cauliflower is often a big white cooking challenge. At least
this one is green. (Photos: Kathy Morrison)
I was a latecomer to cauliflower. Too bland, either boiled to death or steamed and left plain -- uh, no thanks. And I can’t eat cheese, so forget about drenching it in gooey sauce.
But roasting was a revelation: Those white florets were suddenly interesting. Wow. Still, the white vegetable in winter, when so much is colorless, can be a turn-off. And the ones in the supermarket are HUGE — my husband and I never finish one head before it begins to deteriorate.
This is all to explain why I was thrilled to find small heads of cauliflower — both white and green — at the farmers market Saturday. They were all 1 pound or less; the already-trimmed green cauliflower weighed just half a pound. I snapped up one of each.
Not an alien vegetable, despite its cameo in a "Star Wars" film,
romanesco is delicious.
I was pan-searing ahi tuna for dinner, so chose the two greenish veggies to serve with it. Roasted, spiced and garnished as inspired by a New York Times recipe, they were wonderful.
Try this recipe with any brassica, including broccoli. It can easily be doubled for one of those big heads of cauliflower. Spice as much or as little as desired.
Roasted cauliflower with spices and almondsServes 4 as a side dish
|Some of the magic ingredients to use on the brassicas.|
1 pound florets from cauliflower, broccoli and/or romanesco that has been trimmed and cored
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Zest from 1/2 a lemon
1 to 2 tablespoons almonds, sliced or chopped
1 small red chile or 1/2 of a large one, thinly sliced, for garnish, optional
Lemon juice, for sprinkling after cooking
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure the florets are roughly the same size; slice in half any that are too large. Place the florets in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Scatter them across a shallow roasting pan or baking sheet with a rim. Roast florets 15 minutes.
The finished dish, roasted, spiced and sprinkled with lemon juice.
Sprinkle the almonds over the vegetables in the pan. (If using the red pepper slices, you can also add them to the mixture now to barely cook them, if desired.) Cook for up to 5 more minutes, being careful not to burn the almonds.
Place the vegetables in a serving bowl and sprinkle on a bit of fresh lemon juice while they're still hot. Stir and serve.
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Dig In: Garden Checklist
For week of June 4:
Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.
* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.
* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.
* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.
* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.
* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.
* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.
* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.
* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.
* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.
* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.
* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.
* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.
* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.
* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.
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