I've never been a huge fan of cauliflower. And I realized this morning that the only interesting introductory segue into this recipe that I could give involves being scared out of my mind (and out of ever wanting to do anything related to sex--thankfully that didn't last long) by a sex ed picture of a "cauliflower penis" back in the day, SOOOOO I figured that'd probably be a good story to steer clear of since it could only serve to make stomachs turn.
As for this recipe and the cauliflower in it: damn good. Since I'm *NOT* a big fan of cauliflower, I didn't expect to be as impressed as I was. But cauliflower is actually quite good and flavorful when "caramelized." And the sauce, while very simple and basic, does a wonderful job of enhancing the flavor of the cauliflower. All in all, I was impressed, and since it was a very simple recipe (how lazy am I?), I found myself thinking that I'd DEFINITELY make this again. And the red pepper flakes: definitely don't omit. They're a strange and magical addition to this dish.
PS. The word "cauliflower" starts to look really weird if you stare at it for too long.
- 4 T. olive oil, divided (plus more for greasing baking sheet)
- 1 small cauliflower (1 lb) cut into 1/4-inch slice
- 1 c. fresh parsley leaves
- 1 T. grated lemon zest
- 1 T. capers, rinsed and drained
- 1 lb. penne noodles
- 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
- vegan parmesan cheez
Place rack in highest oven position, and preheat to 475F. Grease baking sheet with a bit of olive oil. Toss cauliflower with 2 T. olive oil on prepared baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and spread in single layer. Roast 18 minutes or until cauliflower pieces are browned.
Meanwhile, pulse parsley, lemon zest, and reamining 2 T. oil in food processor until chunky sauce forms. Add capers, and pulse until capers are coarsely chopped.
Cook penne in boiling water according to directions on box. Drain, and reserve 1/2 c. cooking water. Toss pasta with cauliflower, parsley sauce, and red pepper flakes in large serving bowl, adding reserved cooking water if sauce seems too thick. Sprinkle with vegan parm if desired.
(original recipe from Nov./Dec. issue of the VT, p. 38)