Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.
Today: Your new favorite weeknight side dish (or bar snack).
Sometimes the measure of a good recipe is how much can be subtracted from it while maintaining its essential goodness. Such is the case with Pimenton Roasted Cauliflower, which takes advatange of the lovelies in the market this time of year.
Sidebar: Seeing cauliflower here in DC is a mixed blessing to me, because while I do love them, they presage the oncoming season of beets and tubers, igniting a certain culinary seasonal affective disorder of the soul. But anyway you didn’t ask so let’s move on.
If you want to keep this remarkable and earthy side dish vegetarian, skip the chorizo; the spices will make it plenty smoky, and add the kick you need. If you don’t have parsley, no calamity will befall you. I am boycotting pine nuts for all sorts of reasons and did not add them here. Leaves and ribs, as bonbonmarie notes, are optional.
It is important, since you are beginning and ending this cooking process with the broiler, to really keep an eye on things. Burned cauliflower does not make one’s home smell delicious, I say, without admitting to any particular first hand knowledge. The grated carrots are a wonderful and unexpected touch.
While this dish goes well with just about any protein or even as a side to a bowl of pasta, I served it to my friend Nicole with a glass of wine as a sort of smoky, spicy bar snack. She did not object.
1 head cauliflower, about 2 1/4 pounds, including any good ribs and leaves
5 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half the long way
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Pimenton de la Vera (I use dulce)
1 teaspoon freshly toasted and ground cumin seed
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, cut in 1-inch wedges
2 medium carrots, grated (large grate)
2 ounces Spanish chorizo, cut into small pieces.
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan
1 1/3 cups chopped fresh parsley
Photo by James Ransom