Adding great flavor to the food that otherwise may be a little boring is key to sticking with eating those nutrient-dense vegetables. Steamed cauliflower, although acceptable to some, doesn’t do it for me. I like mine roasted. Minimal effort and I can throw a few heads of garlic on the pan and have extra for another dish. All that is required is a quick brushing with olive oil (both the cauliflower and the head of garlic) and a little heat in your oven for 25-30 minutes. Give the cauliflower florets a quick turn half way through.
Combining different textures with different cooking techniques also is a big flavor booster. Here, grilled rosemary becomes the star. While the cauliflower is roasting, slice a large yellow onion lengthwise and sautée over medium heat. I do mine in cast iron. After about 10 minutes, add the rosemary needles, a generous amount, and keep them from burning by moving around in the skillet as you brown the onion. Once the cauliflower is cooked, place the florets in the skillet with some of the roasted garlic and one or two of the optional spices, if desired.
You can also use this as a base layer for a deconstructed cauliflower soup. Pour a delicious broth (I use my bone broth) over the top and add a bit of good-quality shredded parmesan. Serve it as a first course for company, or it’s an excellent way to freshen these vegetables if you have any left over in your refrigerator.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves and coarse stem. Break or cut into into florets and distribute on parchment-lined sheet pan. Avoid having the florets touch one another. Place two whole heads (or more) at one end of the sheet pan but not touching the cauliflower.
Brush the florets and the entire head of garlic with olive oil. I use a silicone brush to do this. After about 12-15 minutes, turn the florets over and give the underside of the cauliflower another light brush with olive oil. The garlic heads do not need to be turned; if they look dry you can brush a bit more olive oil on them.
While cauliflower in the oven, heat the skillet on medium. Peel a large yellow onion and slice it into ¼ inch lengths. Add a bit of olive oil to the warm skillet and begin saute of the onion. About halfway through, add the rosemary needles by stripping the stem (place the top of the stem between your thumb and index finger and with your other hand pull the stem upward against the “grain” of the needles so they easily detach). Continue stirring the onions and rosemary until they have the desired doneness, and turn off skillet. Add cauliflower and several of the garlic cloves (it’s easy to squish them out) and optional spices, if desired. Combine in the skillet. Salt to taste and serve.