I have eaten many, many heads of cauliflower in the last month. My husband is out of town, so I ate them all by myself….well, maybe I fed a little bit to my girlfriends who came over for lunch last weekend and some of it went into my the Gluten-Free Roasted Cauliflower and Caramelized Onion Tart that I made for new year’s day. But other than that I ate it all by myself! I’ve made my favourite Creamy Cauliflower Soup, Gingery Cauliflower Soup, Savoury Indian Dumpling Cake (it uses cauliflower), Tony’s Cauliflower Kofta, Cauliflower Fried with Aromatic Spices and I have been knocking myself out, trying to recreate the lemony cauliflower from the restaurant down the street from my old apartment in Queens. Here are some pretty pictures….
I marinated the cauliflower in lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, roasted it and ate it with home-made cumin and paprika mayonnaise. On another day, I fried it instead of roasting it. Both versions were fine, but they were not like the lemony Lebanese cauliflower.
This Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata and Breadcrumbs recipe (from Food52) put an end to my lemony Lebanese cauliflower obsession. Lets look at a picture of my new favourite cauliflower recipe to celebrate!
Gremolata is a mixture of garlic, parsley and lemon peel that is typically served with veal. I do not eat veal, but I do eat cauliflower. I imagine that gremolata would be wonderful paired with any number of vegetables! This recipe uses sautéed bread crumbs for crunch. I happen to have gluten-free bread crumbs, but I also tried it with minced almonds instead and it worked very well. I also tried replacing the parsley with mint which was excellent. If you use almonds, you should add some extra lemon peel and parsley (or mint) to balance the rich flavour of the nuts. I also changed the proportion of bread crumbs and gremolita to cauliflower a bit.
I ate this cauliflower with Sherried Shrimp for dinner and then had the leftovers on a bed of spinach with capers, slivered almonds and a lemony dill dressing for lunch. So good.
I ate the second almond and mint batch with baked squash and kale with caramelized garlic and leeks. Also delicious.
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH GREMOLATA BREAD CRUMBS
- 1 small or 1/2 of a large head of cauliflower
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided in half
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or gluten-free bread crumbs or minced almonds)
- Zest of 1 lemon (use 2 if you are using almonds)
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 Tablespoons minced parsley or mint (use 4 if using almonds)
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Trim tough stem and core from cauliflower and save for another use (see the list of cauliflower recipes at the beginning of this post). Using a paring knife, cut cauliflower florets into smaller spears.
- Place the Cauliflower florets in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; toss to combine.
- Spread cauliflower out on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast until edges start to brown, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add panko, gluten-free bread crumbs or almonds and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to coat in oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until bread crumbs or almonds are golden. Add lemon zest and garlic and toss until mixture is very fragrant and bread crumbs or almonds are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Place in a medium bowl and add parsley or mint, stirring to combine. Set aside.
- Remove cauliflower from oven and place on serving platter. Top with the gremolata mixture and serve immediately.