Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower with Capers

Cauliflower.  That odd looking white vegetable that my family rejects without giving it a chance.  When I read all of the nutritional benefits that come with eating cauliflower I set out to find a way to prepare it for the Picky Pickersens in my family.  And you know what, they ate this stuff up.  Both of my kids even asked for more.  I think I fainted from the shock.

And did you know that just 3 florets of cauliflower provide two thirds of your daily requirement for vitamin C?  In addition it has generous amounts of folate and 2 disease fighting chemicals: indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane.  Both are known to suppress tumors.  What is not to love?  I know, the taste.

I don't mind a little of it raw and that is the best way to eat it for the full nutritional impact.  But I like variety and want to have it cooked occasionally.

Enter Martha Stewart and her fabulous and easy recipes (can you tell I recently purchased a Martha cookbook?).  I only tweaked her recipe slightly.  I like to use melted coconut oil in place of olive or grapeseed oil when I am using high heat.  The temperatures required to roast are high enough that they can destroy the benefits of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.  Not to mention, olive oil can get bitter at higher temperatures.  So, without further preamble, here is my version of Martha's recipe:

Roasted Cauliflower with Capers
1 head of cauliflower (about 2 lbs), cut into small florets
1 Tbs melted coconut oil (go ahead, use your olive oil)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbs butter
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (not minced)
1 teaspoon capers
1 tsp caper juice

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Spread cauliflower florets in a roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.  Drizzle with your oil of choice and season with salt and pepper.  Toss with your hands to combine.  Call the children in to turn on the faucet because your hands are too oily to do it yourself.  Roast cauliflower, tossing once or twice, until it is golden brown and tender, approximately 20-25 minutes.

During the last 5 minutes of roasting, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Cook sliced garlic, stirring often, until lightly browned.  You may find you need to turn the burner down to medium low to prevent burning the garlic.  Trust me, it doesn't taste good.  Remove the butter and garlic from the heat and add capers and juice.  This will cause a bit of acrid steam so stand back a little.  Pour this sauce over the cauliflower and toss to coat.  This time I recommend tossing with your serving spoon.  The cauliflower and sauce are too hot for hands.