Roasted Smoked Paprika Cauliflower... my new favorite way of eating cauliflower.
~~Happy New Year to everyone!~~
I don't know about you, but I have a large container of smoked paprika in my pantry. I use it in lots of dishes, but somehow that container seems just as full as when I first bought it... ok, maybe not as full, but still plenty full. So every chance I get, I try to sprinkle some smoked paprika on dishes I can get away with... it doesn't help that I also have a large container of sweet paprika and another of hot smoky paprika:). In any case, I do like paprika!
But one day, I happened to be in a hurry... needed to make a vegetable side dish for lunch. I think it's engrained in me to have some sort of salad or vegetable as part of our meals, otherwise I just feel guilty. In any case, I didn't have any fresh vegetables except for a lone cauliflower that I had bought to make something fancy:).... On the spur of the moment, I grabbed the cauliflower, the hot smoky paprika, a bit of oil, and a garlic clove... decided to roast it while I got the rest of the meal ready. Well, we loved it... and loved it so much that I made it again and again... though with slight variations.
The roasted cauliflower is great as is, but it can easily lend itself to being made into a warm sort of salad... I love to add nuts and Parmesan cheese, but you can really be creative and add all sorts of other vegetables, from beans, grains, green leafy lettuce, cherry tomatoes, etc. Great way to make a salad using leftovers you may have in the fridge. I posted the simple version of roasting the cauliflower... with a second option of adding other ingredients, but you can easily use what you like and what you have on hand... including herbs of choice. Hope you enjoy...
Note: You know, I loved eating this raw... even without roasting it. It was delicious and the smoked paprika and garlic were more prominent and not as mild as when roasted. So, if you like raw, that's another option. You can "bloom" the paprika and "mellow" down the garlic by heating the oil in a skillet and adding the paprika along with the garlic and cooking it for a minute or so.
1 head cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, grated
1 tsp smoked hot paprika, or to taste (can use sweet smoked paprika)
salt and pepper, to taste
squeeze of lemon juice
3-4 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup toasted nuts of choice
1 red jalapeno, chopped, totally optional
1-2 TBS lemon juice, or to taste
2-3 bacon slices, sliced into strips, and cooked till crisp, optional
extra olive oil, as needed
additional: if desired
cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Place rack in top 1/3 of oven.
- Preheat oven to 450 deg F
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
1. Cut cauliflower in small pieces... 1 1/2 -2 inch pieces (or so). Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl.
2. Mix oil, smoked paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl and pour mixture over the cauliflower florets. Toss to combine.
3. Arrange cauliflower florets in a single layer on parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Roast at 450 deg F 15-20 minutes... or until roasted to desired doneness... checking halfway and turning cauliflower over. You can use the broiler for a minute or so ...towards the end if you like.
5. Remove from oven and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice all over the cauliflower.... to taste. Serve hot.
Second Option: For a different take, opt to add extra ingredients to the roasted cauliflower to taste.... and treat it as a salad of sorts. I added what I had in the house, but you can be creative... add garlic, some sauteed onion, some cooked chickpeas, roast some brussels sprouts along with the cauliflower, etc.
1. To roasted cauliflower, add Parmesan cheese, red jalapeno, toasted nuts of choice, crisp bacon strips(optional) and any other ingredients you like. Add a bit of extra lemon juice, if needed. If you've added enough lemon juice to the simple version above, you may or may not need to add extra lemon juice.
2.Toss to combine and add extra olive oil if needed.... a drizzle or so to bring it all together .