Fresh Tastes from the Garden- cauliflower

Move over Broccoli!  If you thought broccoli was good for you wait until you try Cauliflower.  Cauliflower is packed with fiber, this veggie is also a great source of vitamins C, K, and B6. It even contains omega-3 fatty acids. Today we will be cooking Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nut, Raisin, and Caper Vinaigrette.  This warm, caramelized cauliflower is a perfect side dish to a simple roast chicken. 

Many people are afraid to try growing cauliflower because they think it's finicky, or that it's a crop only  experienced gardeners can have success with. While it does need quite a bit of room, it's a piece of cake to grow.  The ideal day time temperatures for cauliflower plants are in the 60s, so gardeners in many parts of the country may find it easiest to ripen a successful crop in the cool weather of fall. In mild winter areas, cauliflower can be grown for winter harvest.

Here are some helpful growing tips:

  1. Select a site with at least 6 hours of full sun.
  2. Soil needs be very rich in organic matter; add compost to the soil before planting.
  3. It is best to start cauliflower from transplants rather than seeds.
  4. Space the transplants 18 to 24 inches apart with 30 inches between rows.
  5. Fertilize with fish emulsion

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine nut, Raisin, and Caper vinaigrette

Directions

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Toss cauliflower with 3 Tbsp olive oil and chili flakes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast until cauliflower is tender and deeply browned on both sides, about 20 minutes total, flipping cauliflower with a thin metal spatula half way through roasting.
  2. While cauliflower roasts, combine remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil, vinegar, honey, capers, pine nuts, raisins, and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a serving plate and spoon dressing on top.  Serve immediately. 

Ingredients 

  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges 
  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • a pinch or two of Aleppo Chili Flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sherry or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp capers, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves 

Serve as a side dish. Yields about four servings. 

Some other dishes you can create with this in-season veggie are Cauliflower Mash, Cauliflower Soup and Cauliflower Gratin.  

Enjoy!