9.26.2013

Roasted Cauliflower and Parmesan Cheese


KT went to the farmer's market last week and returned home with a head of orange-yellow cauliflower. I don't normally eat cauliflower, but when I do it is white. I had never seen this variety before - color me skeptical. 

As it turns out, the orange color comes from a mutation which creates increased beta-carotene levels and it was first found in Canada in the 1970s. The mutant cauliflower was sent to Cornell to be studied and researchers at Cornell were able to cross-breed it to create the "cheddar" cauliflower you find in farmer's markets today. So there you have it: cheddar cauliflower has only been on the food scene since 2004. It tastes fairly similar to regular cauliflower, though it is described as having sweeter notes to it. Beyond the color difference, orange cauliflower has 25 times the amount of Vitamin A that white cauliflower has - yay vitamins!

I'm not a cauliflower expert (far from it) so I can't say that I noticed a difference between regular cauliflower and orange cauliflower taste-wise, all I know is that this cauliflower recipe was fantastic. It never ceases to amaze me what a little roasting, some garlic, lemon, and olive oil can do to transform vegetables. I have a feeling that I'm going to be buying a whole lot more cauliflower at the farmer's market this week. Yum! 

Roasted Cauliflower and Parmigiano

Ingredients
- 2 heads of cauliflower (whatever variety you prefer)
- 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, sliced horizontally in thirds
- juice from one lemon
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 3 tbsp. olive oil (or enough to coat all the vegetables)
- 3/4 c. parmigiano reggiano
- salt and pepper to taste

Preparation
Set your oven to 425 degrees.

Take your heads of cauliflower and cut them into florets, then cut each floret in half. Slice your garlic into thirds, length-wise, and slice your onion into 1/4 inch pieces.

In a mixing bowl mix together your cauliflower, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, thyme, olive oil and lemon juice.

Once your oven is heated put your vegetables into a baking dish and roast them for around 35 minutes. Halfway through you should turn the vegetables so they don't overcook on one side. After 35 minutes remove your dish from the oven and add your parmigiano on top, mix the cauliflower and cheese together and put the dish back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes remove the cauliflower from the oven and serve.

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