I forgot that the arrival of winter means that I want to eat everything in sight. Oh, and that I have zero interest in going to the gym. Yeah, it’s not good. Thankfully, between walking the dog and needing to get out to go to a variety of gigs, most of which result in me lugging around a massive bag of equipment and props, I get a little bit of exercise here and there. But, oh gosh, if I could stay inside all day, I would. And it doesn’t help that I’ve done a couple of shoots for a local chocolate company, which means that I’m left home alone with these dark treats that just won’t stop calling my name.
I have been trying to keep the foods in our house on the lighter side. Healthy (though hearty) soups and stews. Roasted root veggies. Big bowls of quinoa. I’ve never been fond of really heavy and fattening dishes this time of year, but I do want to be left satisfied.
Last week, I roasted a head of cauliflower and proceeded to eat the whole thing. It’s not just cauliflower, though. Give me a bunch of beets… I’ll boil and dress them, sprinkle a little goat cheese on top and that’ll be my dinner. Strange, right?
It may not be easy to see the simple pleasure of a bowl of cauliflower, but it has a lot going for it. A bit of sweetness comes through when roasted and just a few additions really make this something special.
Roasted Cauliflower with Currants and Pine Nuts
Serves 4 as a side
1 large head of cauliflower, leaves and stem end removed.
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup pine nuts
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. With the core side facing down, slice the cauliflower into 1/2 inch thick slices. If pieces are large, cut them into smaller florets. Place in a bowl with the chopped garlic and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 teaspoons smoked paprika over cauliflower and toss to season the florets.
3. Spread flat on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. If necessary, use two baking sheets.
4. Roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until browned lightly and becomes tender. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
5. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan at medium heat. Add the pine nuts, shaking the pan every 30 seconds until they brown slightly. Remove immediately and transfer pine nuts to a bowl.
6. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving bowl. Mix in the currants, toasted pine nuts, and lemon zest. Taste for seasoning and, if necessary, add more salt and black pepper. Sprinkle parsley on top and serve.