Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pimente D'Espelette

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Credits: Craig Thiebaud
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Cauliflower is really popular right now in restaurants everywhere.  You might even say it's trendy right now.  I've seen whole roasted cauliflower in multiple forms all over the Internet and decided I wanted to try it.  We often roast cauliflower but I usually break it apart into individual pieces prior to roasting.  The main difference between that method and roasting it whole ultimately lies in the fact that roasting it whole preserves some of the crunch while still delivering roasted flavor and color.

Piment D'Espelette is simply a French red pepper flake of sorts with the consistency of a very coarse paprika.  If you don't have it and don't want to purchase it, you can certainly use red pepper flakes, paprika, or sumac in it's place.  Herbs would great with this as well.  Otherwise, this is very simple and very good.  Give it a try...you'll be right on trend and beyond that, and more importantly, it's a beautiful, tasty vegetable dish that doesn't take a whole lot of effort to make!

Ingredients:

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1 Whole cauliflower

Olive oil to coat

Piment D'Espelette

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees (use convection if you have that option).
  • Remove the leaves of the cauliflower and cut away some of the core but not too much as you want it to remain in tact.
  • Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of the cauliflower and rub it in to coat the entire vegetable (about 2 tablespoons should do it depending on size).
  • Sprinkle the cauliflower with the kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Sprinkle the Piment D'Espelette over the top of that.
  • Place on a baking sheet and place in oven.  Roast cauliflower for 35-45 minutes, until it is both cooked through and browned all over with bits of char on the outside.
  • Once that's achieved, remove from oven and carve by either cutting it into it's natural pieces or slice it into 1/2 inch slices.

Serve while hot, warm, or at room temperature.

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