Thursday, August 23, 2012

Roasted cauliflower

There are few things sadder on a plate than soft mushy cauliflower. The color is unappetizing, the smell isn't tempting, the texture is... let's not talk about it. 

But if there's one thing I love, it's cauliflower and cumin - the former still crunchy. For years I've made a kind of pilaf dish with plenty of cumin, turmeric and other spices, boiled eggs and cauliflower. it takes a pretty big pan to accommodate all those ingredients - but I've discovered another cauliflower-cumin combination, much easier and just as good, if not better. 

Here's what you need:
1 medium cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1/2 cup of Greek yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 medium cauliflower makes a light meal for two people, or a side dish for three.

Trim away the leaves and bottom stem of the cauliflower and turn it over. Cut into the stems of the florets, separating them gently.

Rinse under cold water, drain and put in a bowl.

Add equal amounts olive oil and cumin seeds, and toss to coat throughly. If you're eating this cauliflower alone, as I did, you can set aside what you won't eat now and put it in the fridge until you need it.

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on a baking sheet or pan and arrange the cauliflowers so that they aren't too crowded. You want them to grill, not steam against each other. Bake in the oven at 400 F until it starts browning nicely. I usually start checking my oven (and tossing the florets a bit) after about 10 minutes. They should still have a little crunch to them.

Here's the part I love best - a wonderful thick dip that's easy to make, delicious and non-fat. Take some greek yoghurt (I only buy Fage, as most of the others seem to include pectin or some such gelling agent and other additives. Look for yoghurt made only with milk and bacteria!) and salt it to your taste. If your yoghurt has some liquid (whey) in the container, don't include that in the dip - you want it thick.

There's nothing else you need here - no olive oil, no herbs - although some have suggested mint. (I'm not a fan of mint in foods)

Enjoy! I have a little obsession with mixing temperatures in food, so I like to keep the yoghurt dip cold in the fridge until the last moment. This is about the simplest and healthiest recipe in my lunch repertoire, and I'm pretty sure I'll be making this often in the colder months to come!


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