Outside my kitchen window, little chipmunks scurry in dazed and confused circles, drunk on the warmer weather and crop of yellow dandelions poking through the rocks. Well, goody for them. It may be the start of Spring outside, but my local grocery store knows nothing about it. There’s butternut squash, avocados from Chile, carrots from Canada and lettuce from California.
Yes, the crocuses appeared, but nothing edible has popped out of the ground. We’re eating winter and imports. I’m sorry for me and I’m sorry for you– but it really doesn’t have to be all that bad. The truth is, when fall began, many of us were gushing about the pleasures of fall vegetables. And then we got good and sick of them…and some of those early favorites slipped out of the weeknight rotation. I am now declaring this the moment for roast cauliflower renewal. Soon we won’t give that pile of cellophane-wrapped white orbs a second glance when we walk into the produce aisle– there will be vibrant greens and crisp beans and all kinds of gorgeous stuff to spin our head.
So get ’em before they fade out of favor completely, before they are eclipsed by vegetables that reflect the glories of going outdoors in nothing more than a cardigan.
(And if it happens that Spring also heralds the time to get rid of your winter padding, be sure to measure the oil. It only takes 2 tablespoons to give an entire head of florets that lovely bit of crusty brown here and there– which means two whole, filling cups has just under 100 calories.)
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets, about 8 cups
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine the cauliflower, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss well. Place in a single layer on the baking sheet pan.
3. Roast 7-10 minutes until lightly browned on the underside. Turn and roast until again lightly browned on the underside, another 7-10 minutes.
Makes 4 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 96 calories, 3 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 335 mg sodium