wallflower: a type of loner, seemingly shy folks who no one really knows, often some of the most interesting people if one actually talks to them.
Pity the poor cauliflower, she sits alone in the produce section, wrapped in cellophane, segregated from the other produce, pale in a world of greens, golds and reds. Cauliflower rhymes with wallflower … coincidence? … I think not.
So how do we bring out the personality in this seemingly boring vegetable? Very simply, we roast her. Roasting turns this wallflower into the belle of the ball, full of attitude, verve, and not the least … flavor! Rich, nutty, must have some more flavor. Best of all it’s very easy. It fits Poppy’s lazy gourmet style perfectly. Just cut up a head of cauliflower into florets with flat sides. The more contact with the baking sheet, the richer the flavor, hence the flat sides. Toss the florets in EVOO and spread on a foil lined baking sheet (unless you really enjoy scrubbing baking sheets). Make sure the florets are not stacked on each other, spread them out so each one has it’s chance in the roasting spotlight. Apply some ground black pepper and sea salt and we are good to go, it’s that easy.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then load in the cauliflower. Keep an eye on it, when it starts to brown on the bottom (10-15 minutes) then take a spatula and flip it over and roast another 10-15 minutes. The result is slightly browned, carmelized, and altogether delicious. Serve it as a side (with some fresh grated parmesan), toss it in some pasta, soup or salad … you can’t go wrong.
Viva la wallflower!