Is it sort of embarrassing that cauliflower was the meals I ate most in 2022?
Not practically as embarrassing because the present I watched most in 2022 (Frasier). Or the underwear I wore most in 2022 (completely gigantic). But it surely’s referred to as “Excellent Cauliflower” and I swear it lives as much as its title.
What makes this roasted cauliflower good is that it’s sliced into thumb-width planks (often known as “steaks” however not by moi). Throughout the slicing course of, you’ll make an enormous mess on the counter and a few items will crumble and every thing will likely be okay. The purpose is that the flat facet of (most of) the cauliflower will caramelize greater than a rounded stalky piece as a result of it’s in direct contact with the new pan. And also you’ll CRANK the oven to 450, which ensures that lovely browning.
Then taste is available in. The cauliflower is tossed in garlicky oil earlier than roasting. After which whereas it’s within the oven, you casually toast some coconut flakes with a chopped chile (or a sprinkle of crimson pepper flakes), and grate some lime zest on that when it’s performed. To serve, you douse your portion of cauliflower with the coconut topping, which supplies it this “I’m fried however not likely” texture and lime-in-the-coconut tropical taste. A squeeze of lime juice and cilantro are bonus steps for over-achievers.
This recipe is from my pal Andy Baraghani’s cookbook The Cook You Want to Be. I helped Andy with the phrases within the guide, and when it got here to recipe titles, I keep in mind how he informed me, with such confidence, that this cauliflower was good and will probably be the one recipe within the guide to make that declare. I used to be like, “Okay, Andy, but it surely’s cauliflower.” However then I couldn’t cease making it. I’ve taken liberties, like utilizing garlic salt instead of contemporary garlic, however the method by no means lets me down, and neither does the crunchy coconut topping. It often makes greater than I want, so I stash the leftover crunch in a container and apply it to salads or, extra possible, extra cauliflower.
Excellent Cauliflower with Spicy Coconut Crisp
Recipe from The Cook You Want to Be, by Andy Baraghani
1 head cauliflower or Romanesco (preserve any inexperienced leaves or stems that include it)
1⁄3 cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
½ teaspoon floor turmeric
Spicy Coconut Crisp
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
2 serrano or jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (see be aware beneath)
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro (leaves, stems, and all)
2 limes, reduce into wedges
Place an oven rack within the backside place and preheat the oven to 450ºF. If the outer leaves of the cauliflower look contemporary and never brown, pull them off and provides them a rough chop. Trim the underside core of the cauliflower so it may well stand on its stem. Lower the cauliflower into 1-inch-thick slabs (you’ll in all probability get 4 or 5 items), then snap off the florets from the slabs.
In a big bowl, mix the 1⁄3 cup coconut oil, garlic, and turmeric and stir to combine. Throw within the cauliflower items and leaves, season with salt, after which toss with a big metallic spoon or rubber spatula. Unfold the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, flipping the items after the primary quarter-hour, till deeply golden brown on each side, 25 to half-hour whole.
To make the coconut crisp: When the cauliflower is sort of prepared, in a small skillet over medium warmth, mix the coconut oil, chiles, and coconut flakes. Cook dinner, stirring often, till the coconut flakes are golden brown in most spots and scent candy, 2 to 4 minutes. Take away the skillet from the warmth and stir within the lime zest. Season with salt and stir once more.
Switch the cauliflower to a platter and crumble the coconut crisp over it. Scatter the cilantro on prime and squeeze the juice from a number of lime wedges over. Serve with the remaining lime wedges on the facet for squeezing.
A be aware from Andy on selecting coconut flakes: All the time purchase unsweetened coconut so you’ll be able to management the sweetness. (We affiliate coconut’s taste with sweetness, however that comes from its aroma, not its precise taste.) I purchase flakes or shreds, relying on my temper. The large flakes are graphic and funky, however every thing goes quicker with shreds—from toasting to incorporating right into a dish. When you open the bundle, preserve it within the fridge to protect freshness.
(Photographs by Graydon Herriott.)