Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spice-Roasted Whole Cauliflower

This recipe is a “looker”—definitely one to easily wow a crowd. But it’s also easy enough to make for a weeknight supper, and endlessly versatile if you change around the spices to suit your mood.

Tonight, I used a fragrant combination of sweet garam masala spiked with musky ground coriander, smoky cumin and finally a piquant note of asafoetida; all kicked up a notch with chilli powder and black pepper.

½ tsp ground Garam Masala
½ tsp ground Coriander
¼ tsp ground Cumin
¼ tsp Asafoetida
½ tsp Chilli powder
¼ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1 whole head Cauliflower (about 1½ lbs [750 gms] after the stalks and leaves are trimmed)
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt (to taste)
6–8 cloves Garlic
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425ºF (220ºC). 
  2. Combine all the spices together in a small bowl and set aside. 
  3. Wash and thoroughly dry cauliflower. Trim stalk and leaves, and set on a shallow baking dish.
  4. Drizzle cauliflower with 2 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle spice mixture and salt over cauliflower and rub the spices in, making sure the whole cauliflower is well coated. Using a knife, cut slits into the cauliflower and tuck in the garlic cloves.
  5. Set cauliflower in the middle rack of the oven and roast for 1 hour. About 30 mins into roasting, drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil over the cauliflower and baste it with any escaping juices. If the top starts to brown too much, cover lightly with tin foil. You know the cauliflower is ready when a knife inserts easily into the centre and the top is evenly caramelised. 
  6. Remove from oven and cut cauliflower into smaller pieces. Serve warm.
    [For extra effect, you can present the cauliflower whole and make a grand gesture cutting it at the table!]

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