Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables and I find it is actually fairly versatile. Tonight I tried roasting the cauliflower with the addition of shallots, garlic, thyme, and then a sprinkle of some fresh Parmesan cheese. The result was a deliciously nutty flavor without any of that cabbage-like flavor that cauliflower can sometimes have.
Cauliflower has a high nutritional density. It is low in fat and carbohydrates but has a good amount of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and folate. As with other vegetables in the cabbage family, cauliflower has phytochemicals that are supposed to be good for us like sulforaphane, glucosinolates, carotenoids, and indole-3-carbinol. Some of the proposed benefits protecting against and slowing the growth of cancer cells and DNA repair. These nutritional facts were found on Wikipedia.
To get started, peel and slice a large shallot. Break the rings apart a bit too.
You are going to add in about 4 cloves of garlic, but you want to keep them whole and in their skin actually. If you chopped them there is a chance they would burn and turn bitter. With their skin on during the roasting it protects them a bit and they will become much milder.
Prepare your cauliflower by breaking it into florets. Then toss the cauliflower, shallots and garlic together.
Now drizzle with olive oil, throw on a few sprigs of fresh thyme (or a bit of dried thyme), some fresh black pepper, and some coarse salt.
Use your hand and toss this all together well and get the spices and olive oil distributed among the vegetables well. Then spread out into one layer on a large baking sheet. I lined mine with foil, but it is not necessary. I do it to make clean up easier for Hubby actually.
Now roast at 375° F for about 45 minutes, stirring a couple of times and spreading back out. After 45 minutes use a wooden spoon to gently smash the garlic cloves a bit to break them open and let some of that roasted garlic out of the skin! Then grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over the top and toss again and roast for about another 15 minutes. This is not a place for the Kraft Parmesan cheese in the green can – you really need some good Parmesan that you grate fresh. If you do not have any, just skip that part because it is still great without the cheese.
That’s all there is too it! Now you have a fabulous side dish of roasted cauliflower with shallots, garlic, thyme, and parmesan to serve at dinner. Remove the sprigs of thyme and garlic clove skins before serving if you like.
Do you think you will try this recipe? What changes, if any, would you make?