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October 1, 2019
This is about...
Whole Roasted CAULIFLOWER with FETA and HONEY---YUM!
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        WELL I HATE TO SAY IT, BUT SUMMER IS OVER--REALLY?? It's always a source of frustation for me, as I'm impossibly buried under a mountain of cupcakes from July to August. And, when I do finally dig myself out from under the flour, butter and sugar, summer's gone. So, here we are. I've started wearing sweaters again, and it's time to shift over to more sturdy cool weather veggies.
        CAULIFLOWER IS ONE OF MY FAVES. It's low-cal and makes a great substitute for mashed potatoes, pizza crusts, even bread crumbs. Here's a fun way to dress it up. It's roasted whole, and slathered in garlicky, sweet, cheesy goodness. ALTHOUGH IT MAKES FOR A DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, NO ONE NEEDS TO KNOW HOW EASY IT IS TO PUT TOGETHER. Short of primping the raw cauliflower, the oven's going to do most of the work for you, but you'll get to take all of the credit.

LESSONS Learned:
1. Pick a medium size head of cauliflower about 1 3/4 -2 pounds max. Too large and it won't cook through.
2. Depending on how tight the flowerets are, you may need a gentle twist of the tip of a sharp knife to help you make space to push the slivers of garlic in. Also make sure they are stuffed all the way in so that they don't burn.
3. I like cilantro, but parsley is a great substitution.
4. When testing for doneness, make sure that the skewer slides easily all the way through to the bottom. You may need more baking time.

(inspired by Diane Kochilas)

1 medium-sized head cauliflower, about 1 3/4 -2 pounds
4 garlic cloves cut into slivers
1/3 cup olive oil, preferably extra virgin
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon mild honey
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup crumbled feta, about 4 ounces
lemon slices for serving, optional

Make the cauliflower:
        Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
        Remove the green leaves from the cauliflower. Cut off enough of the stem so that it is level on the bottom of the head. You want it to be able to stand it upright on its own.
        Gently slide the garlic slivers between the florets all around the cauliflower head. You may need to use the tip of a sharp knife, twisting it gently to help separate the florets, allowing you to more easily slip them in. Make sure to stuff them all the way in so they don't burn.
        In a small jar, shake together the olive oil, mustard, honey, vinegar and pepper. Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet. Using about 2/3's of the olive oil mixture, coat the entire cauliflower inside and out, brushing and dabbing as you go. I like to start from the bottom, closest to the pan and work my way up.
        Roast the cauliflower until deeply browned and tender, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. To test for doneness, insert a long skewer into the cauliflower. It should easily pass through to the bottom. Keep the oven on.
        In a small bowl, combine the cilantro or parsley and feta. Brush the remaining olive oil mixture all over the roasted cauliflower. Gently spoon the cilantro-feta mixture all over the cauliflower. Roast for 5 minutes more, or until the feta melts. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve. If you like, sprinkle some fresh lemon juice on top for a little extra kick.

Makes 6 servings.      YUM!
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