Oven Roasted Cauliflower & Broccoli

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on July 10, 2010

If you are not a vegetable lover, getting your daily RDA’s in the veggie category may be a little challenging. For many, trying a different side dish can be challenging, so most people usually stick to their daily salad regimen. I am glad to say that we don’t have that problem in my family, and that a variety of vegetables are not only welcome but encouraged.

I recently picked up a beautiful head of cauliflower fully intending to cook up a gratin, but the high summer temps discouraged me from preparing something that might be too rich, so instead, I roasted the cauliflower with a small amount of leftover broccoli. Since I had the oven on, I also made some oven roasted Greek lemon potatoes  and served both next to our delicious steaks.

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that are always available, so for many, it is never very high on the agenda of vegetables to experiment with. Like cabbage, cauliflower also possesses many of the important phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health, including some anti-cancer compounds. Try it raw, boiled, steamed, fried roasted or pureed. Many low carb eaters use the pureed alternative as a replacement for their mashed potatoes.

No matter what method you use for cooking, remember to cook until tender, and not mushy…

Roasted Cauliflower & Broccoli
1 medium head of cauliflower
1 small head broccoli
2 large heads of garlic, sliced
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
S&P to taste
½ cup olive oil (or use garlic infused oil)
¼ cup water

Wash the cauliflower and cut it in half. Remove the thick part of the stem carefully, by cutting on each side with a sharp knife and pulling out the stem and any leaves. Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets. Make sure to not cut them too small or they will fall apart in the cooking process. If you are using broccoli, make sure to keep the same size florets.

Toss in the cauliflower and broccoli into a large roasting pan and add the ¼ cup of water and a little S&P. Cover the whole thing with foil and steam it in your oven at 425°F for about 15-20 minutes. While this is cooking, poach the garlic in the oil on a very low heat. The garlic should not sizzle in the oil, you are just trying to infuse the oil with the garlic flavor. You will see the garlic begin to wilt in the oil and this is fine as long as it does not burn.

After the cauliflower has cooked, remove the foil and check to see that it is tender. Pour on the oil and toss the cauliflower and broccoli. Place it back into the oven and begin the roasting process. Alternate the pan between the center shelf and the top shelf as you check the oven every few minutes. All of the water should have evaporated by now, but if it has not, it will be gone shortly. Continue to toss the veggies as they begin to “roast” and take on some color. Make sure that they do not burn by checking every 10 minutes or so. When all of the veggies have become uniformly roasted, top with the cheese and roast for another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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