Roasted cauliflower with smoky sauce: seriously incredible!
Time: prep 5 min
cook. 40 min
Difficulty: very easy
Yields: 4 portions
Cost: very low
To be honest when I was a child I didn’t feel a great sympathy for cauliflower: its smell was a deterrent for a little pampered brat like me. At the time I was completely unaware of the importance of the Cruciferous in my diet and honestly the term antioxidants was also a little bit scary to me! So in order to fully appreciate it many years had to pass.
Now for six months a year cauliflower is part of my natural, healthy and sustainable cuisine. And it is a great good thing, because under that tender aspect there is a real “force of nature”.
Cauliflowers like all members of the Brassicaceae family, differently from other vegetables, show the highest levels of isothiocyanates, a substance considered anticancer: it increases the body’s ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells of various types of tumors (colorectal, lung, prostate, breast). The isothiocyanate most present in cauliflowers is sulforaphane, which since its discovery (1992), has been the protagonist of many scientific studies based on the understanding of its physiological role in nutraceuticals.
But cauliflowers are also useful because they contain folates, vitamin A, C, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber and a good dose of calcium: desirable elements for the many functions of a healthy and active body. Of course, if consumed raw, it is easier to absorb its vitamins intact; however, cauliflowers (such as broccoli) contain an enzyme called myrosinase very useful for liver, which is activated by heat: therefore a quick cooking, better steaming and no more than 5 minutes is very useful.
In light of the above, this very simple recipe of roast cauliflower, manages to offer a well balanced compromise (by putting together cooked and less cooked parts); the result is really incredible, delicious and able to open a new horizon of culinary expression.
I recommend it to everyone, especially families with children.
Before proceeding to the ingredients, one last thing: according to tests conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on the amount of pesticides contained in 48 foods including fruit and vegetables (out of more than 36,000 samples tested), cauliflowers are included in the list of less dangerous foods: if they were grown using conventional methods (not organic for example), this would not represent a major problem for human health, since they do not require high doses of pesticides.
for roasted cauliflower
1 big cauliflower, cut into 4 slices
2 tbsps of extravergine olive oil
salt, pepper to taste
for smoky sauce
the remaining part of the cauliflower from the slices
1 ladle of cooking water
1 garlic clove
1 pinch of curry (optional)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
40 grams of smoked cheese (if vegan use vegan smoked cheese)
Nothing simpler, as the peculiarity of this recipe of roasted cauliflower comes from the unusual shape of the cauliflower. So all you need is a good knife.
Cut the outer leaves of the cauliflower first; wash very well under running water, removing the damaged parts.
In the meantime, turn the oven on at 230 degrees and place an ovenproof dish with 4 shallots and 4 carrots (peeled, oiled and diced) inside (10 minutes would be fine and before putting the cauliflower steaks reduce this temperature to 180 degrees).
Then make a horizontal cut at the trunk so that it stands upright. Then with a sharp knife cut it in two vertically: consider a thickness of about 2-3 cm and create 2 big slices and 2 other smaller but always regular slices.
Place them on a baking tray, maybe you’d like to line it with baking paper, and brush them with oil on both sides; salt and pepper to taste.
Let them cook for about 35 minutes at 180 degrees (with carrots and shallots still inside the oven).
During baking, prepare the sauce, cooking with a little water (or by steaming) for 5 minutes, the scraps of cauliflower left over from the slices.
Put the oil in a pot and add the cubes of carrots and shallot that you have taken out of the oven after 30 minutes; let them soften and then add the remains of boiled or steamed cauliflower. With a hand blender turn them into a liquid puree, adding 1 ladle or more of cauliflower cooking water; adjust the salt, pepper, chili and even a pinch of curry. Finally, add the smoked cheese and turn off the stove.
Take the roasted cauliflower out of the oven, with the edges slightly charred just enough to create a succulent effect.
Serve every slice on a base of smoked sauce, season with a drizzle of raw oil and freshly cut parsley leaves: now you can prepare yourself for a unique experience, seriously.
Enjoy your meal and good revolution to everyone