Roasted cauliflower with chorizo
By Jessica – April 29th, 2010
Poor old cauliflower gets a bad rap. It’s generally boiled to within an inch of its life, then smothered with a pasty cheese sauce and slopped on a plate where it sits pallid and congealing, all of its goodness leached out, all of its potential denied.
And yet, cauliflower can be so much more. The thing about cauliflower is that it’s innocuous enough on its own, but it really likes hanging out with some edgy characters: spicy curry powder, salty capers, sour lemons and smoky meats.
Also, while there’s nothing inherently wrong with steaming or boiling it, cauliflower really shows its stuff in the oven. Roasting cauliflower eliminates its wateriness, deepens its flavor and highlights its alluring nuttiness. It also gives you yummy, crispy, caramelized bits to snack on, which is always a good thing.
When we got a head of cauliflower in our veg box this week, I slipped it into the fridge next to a package of chorizo, looked at the two things together and thought, “Hmm...”. And thus the roasted cauliflower and chorizo dish was born.
- 1 medium head of cauliflower, broken up into smallish florets
- olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
- about 1/2 cup spicy Spanish chorizo, sliced into chunks
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
- 1 small clove of garlic, sliced thin
- sea salt and black pepper
- squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Spread the cauliflower florets in a single layer in a baking dish.
Heat a generous glug of olive oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan, then throw in the chorizo and saute it for about a minute, releasing its juices. Add the sliced onion and cook it with the chorizo for another minute or two, then toss in the garlic and saute it briefly until it’s fragrant.
Pour the onion and chorizo mixture over the cauliflower, being sure to get all of the tasty olive oil in there too. Season the cauliflower with a good grind of black pepper and a sprinkling of sea salt (but bear in mind that chorizo is quite salty). Toss everything together well so that the cauliflower is coated in the olive oil, then slip the tray into the oven and roast for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until the cauliflower is tender, browned and sizzling.
When the cauliflower is cooked, taste it for seasoning and squeeze a bit of lemon juice over it to brighten the flavors. Then tuck in! This recipe makes enough to serve two generously as a side dish, but it could also be served alongside other small dishes as part of a tapas spread. Or a single individual (ahem, such as myself) could sit down and devour nearly the entire bowl of it for lunch. That’s just how good cauliflower can be.