It is true that I find making complicated recipes relaxing.
I know it seems odd but it’s like anything that requires intense concentration, it leaves little room for anything else.
When I am following a complicated recipes all of my attention is on it, all my troubles and concerns just fall away. I get delightfully caught up in the ingredients; in the process… making sure that everything is just right.
Its something I look forward to even though my day to day recipes are quick and easy.
Sometimes however; simplicity really is best.
This recipe came out of the need to use up a cauliflower that was lurking in the wrong side of the fridge. So it had to be made an example of! Invited to brunch and set straight.
Unfortunately as I was barely awake and not really in the thinking mode, I figured I would just stick it in the oven and see what turned out.
So while I was rooting around in the cupboard for garlic, because it is a rare dish that I make without garlic, and I ran into my nearly forgotten can of hazelnut oil.
The sleepy brain dialogue went something like this:
Hmmm. Roasting needs oil…
Hazelnut oil is oil.
Cauliflower is kinda nutty.
Hazelnut oil is nutty.
Garlic is nutty.
And it was!
Of that first batch not a bite was left, an occurance repeated every time I make this.
Roasting brings out the nuttiness in both the garlic and the cauliflower. The hazelnut oil deepens this effect. The taste is subtle though. And I have a sneaking suspicion that adding toasted hazelnuts to the finished product would just be the icing on the cake. That is… if I could keep toasted hazelnuts in the house. They get eaten straight from the toaster oven!
I also think that toasted hazelnuts would make for an elegant presentation!
It can also be dressed down by changing out the exotic hazelnut oil for something more neutral. Or even a good quality olive oil.
As an aside, I tend to leave the garlic whole. Whole it roasts slowly, becoming mellow and nutty while subtly flavoring the cauliflower. Chopped and mixed, the flavor is far more assertive.
As it is, the dish is homey, comforting and utterly delicious.
Garlic Roasted Cauliflower
1 large head of cauliflower
8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled
1-2 tablespoons of nut oil or other mild oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 475 F.
Cut the cauliflower into flowerets and arrange on a foil lined baking sheet. Poke the garlic evenly among the flowerets.
Drizzle the cauliflower with oil. Sprinkle on salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Roast the cauliflower to desired doneness, stirring once during the cooking process.
Serve warm or room temperature.