When I hear that people don’t like veggies, I first assume that it’s because they’ve never had good ones. That’s not always the case as some people just seriously hate veggies, but 95% of the time I think people don’t like them because they’re used to flavorless, bland sticks.
But veggies, of course, don’t have to be flavorless! Take cauliflower for example. Cauliflower is one of the many veggies that can take on totally different flavors depending on how it’s cooked and what it’s served with. Served raw, it’s crunchy and healthy. Steam it with some butter and it’s rich and smooth. I’ve even served it curried with kale before.
But if you roast cauliflower and lightly coat it with balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese. Well, now you’re in a whole different world. I think this is the kind of dish that can bridge the gap between veggie-hater and veggie-lover.
For starters, this dish is jam packed with flavors. It’s a great side dish for any number of meals and goes great with a glass of red wine. It has the added bonus of being completely idiot proof.
Roasted Cauliflower with Balsamic and Parm
Yield: Serves 4.
1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Teaspoon dried marjoram
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese (divided in half)
1) Prep your cauliflower by cutting off the green parts and then chopping the vegetable into florets. Try to get them evenly sized.
2) Toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper, and dried marjoram.
3) Lay your seasoned cauliflower onto a baking sheet. Spread them out so they are in an even layer.
4) Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.
5) Add cauliflower back to the bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of balsamic and half of the Parmesan cheese.
6) Add back to the baking sheet and bake for another 5 minutes.
7) Serve sprinkled with leftover Parmesan cheese.
Adapted from Eating Well in Season.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Prepping the Cauliflower
The hardest part about this dish is prepping the cauliflower and that’s just because it’s kind of a messy veggie.
Start off by chopping off all the green parts around the outside. Then start working from the outside in, chopping florets off. The problem with cauliflower is that when you chop off a floret, very tiny pieces will fly all over the place. It helps if you have a large cutting board.
Try to get all the florets to be roughly the same size so they cook evenly. You will have to cut some in half and possibly cut some into quarters.
Next, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the dried marjoram. I don’t really use marjoram that much but it has a nice light citrus flavor. Goes great with the cauliflower.
Make sure to get your cauliflower evenly coated with all the spices and oil and everything.
Not rocket science.
Lay all your oiled and seasoned cauliflower out on a metal baking pan. Spread out the florets to give them plenty of room. It’s okay if they are touching a bit, but spread them out as much as possible.
Bake them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.
After 20 minutes of roasting, you’ll need these very flavor-packed items:
After your cauliflower roasts for 20 minutes it should be softer, but have some browned edges. Add it all back to your bowl and toss in 2 Tablespoons of balsamic. Be careful not to overdo it or it will really overpower the other flavors.
Also add half of your Parmesan to the bowl and toss everything together. Then return the cauliflower to the sheet pan and stick it back in the oven for another five minutes or so.
It’s done when the liquid is evaporated. The florets will have almost a glaze on them. So very delicious.
I served this side family style. Just kind of let people help themselves! Before serving it, top it off with the other half of the Parm cheese.
The extra Parm may not be completely necessary if you’re watching your diet or something, but it adds a lot flavor.
This is definitely a meat lover’s veggie dish. It’s packed full of flavor and the bonus is that it’s also very easy to make.