In case it’s not already obvious from my previous posts raving about the Gjelina cookbook, I’m deeply in love. There’s no way I’ve been able to limit myself to cooking only three recipes and then moving on to another cookbook. I want to make all the recipes and I want to add them all to a regular rotation. They’re all so yummy, shockingly easy, and (reasonably) healthy. I cannot find a single thing wrong with this cookbook, aside from the fact that you need to plan several days ahead if you want to make the pizza dough. This roasted cauliflower recipe is apparently the most frequent request from his diners, which gives me an excuse to post about it despite having conclusively determined from the first three recipes I tried that I’m never letting go of this cookbook.
Similarly to their charred Brussels sprouts, Gjelina‘s cauliflower is incredibly addictive. The red wine vinegar, parsley, garlic, and red chili pepper flakes are a perfect foil for the roasted cauliflower. I was a little concerned about heating my oven to 500 F during a snowstorm – what if my oven filled with smoke? I’d never used it at that temperature before. But I hadn’t been let down yet by these recipes, so I crossed my fingers and went for it. I didn’t have any trouble – the cauliflower didn’t burn as I feared it might, no terrible smell needed to be vented, and I ate caramelized cauliflower florets like they were candy. As an added bonus, I’ve been adding the same quartet of seasonings to this incredible cauliflower sauce over Trader Joe’s chicken dumplings, and that’s pretty fabulous too.
- 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into large florets
- ½ cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 cloves garlic*
- 2 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- ¼-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 500 F.
- In a bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the oil, salt, and pepper. Seasoning is left to your taste - I used about 1 tsp salt and 5 turns of pepper.
- Heat a large (oven-safe) frying pan over high heat. Once hot, add the cauliflower and cook without disturbing for about 3 minutes, until it starts to brown.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and roast (still without disturbing the florets) another 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is well-seared (charred, really).
- Using a wooden spoon or tongs, turn the cauliflower and cook on the other side until it's also well-seared, another 3-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, and vinegar in a bowl.
- Once the cauliflower is well-seared, add to the bowl with the seasonings and stir to distribute the seasoned vinegar over the florets, which also toasts the garlic somewhat.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Use garlic according to your taste. Two cloves was plenty for me, the original recipe calls for three.