My mother always says that cauliflower tastes better after there's been a hard frost. It's not something I ever questioned — or experimented with to find out. I simply believe her and wait to have it until I'm sure we've had a good number of frosty nights. By now, we certainly have in Michigan and I bought this beautiful head grown just down the road a ways. I pulled out a recipe from Serving up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman, a book I bought when I first joined a vegetable CSA and had started a little backyard garden and was overwhelmed with both the variety of new veggies in my box each week and the quantities of veg I was harvesting. The book is arranged in order of ripening during the harvest season and gives a bit of history of each vegetable, growing tips and then several recipes.
This is addictive. It becomes somewhat caramelized and is packed with flavor. I dedicate it to my brother, who when asked by his third grade teacher to name his favorite vegetable, replied cauliflower. Yes, that's right. Third grade. Cauliflower.
Roasted Spiced Cauliflower
From Serving Up the Harvest
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large head cauliflower (about 3 lbs.), cut into florets
Kosher or coarse salt
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Lightly grease a large sheet pan (preferred) or large shallow roasting pan with oil. Combine the oil with the garlic salt, curry powder, cumin, cardamon, ginger, cayenne, and black pepper in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat. Spread the cauliflower on the prepared pan in a single layer. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the florets are tender-crisp and browned. To serve, mound the florets on a serving platter and sprinkle with the kosher salt to taste.