(Curry roasted cauliflower, crunchy oven roasted chickpeas, topped with roasted garlic tahini yogurt sauce and garnished with pomegranate jewels – recipe in post)
This may scare some of you, but I like cauliflower – I like it steamed and mashed into ‘faux’tatoes, or blended into a warm and creamy soup, or even raw atop my salads. No, my mother never had to force me to eat my veggies. But, to those who don’t consider themselves a fan of the florets, I say to you this: you’ve never had cauliflower like this.
Roasting cauliflower in the oven is brilliant, because in many other forms of cooking it tends to go from raw to mush with little space between. The flavor is mild, and great for picking up seasoning, but since it’s made mostly of water there’s little room to absorb such flavors when steamed or boiled. Roasting, however, solves both of these issues.
I was inspired to make this after having a similar dish as an appetizer at a little Middle Eastern restaurant a few nights ago – I’d never tried roasted cauliflower, but was so impressed I immediately went home to make it for myself.
Another little element I stole from the restaurant’s dish was to use pomegranate seeds for garnish. It seemed like a strange addition to the Indian flavors on the plate, but as it turned out the bright pop of flavor (and color) worked beautifully with everything.
Roasting garbanzo beans (chickpeas) is a simple trick that turns the little legumes into crunchy, nutty snackables. I thought the contrast of texture would be a nice addition to the dish, but lightly toasted slivered almonds would be nice as well.
With the chickpeas and the cauliflower alike the flavor possibilities huge, all depending on whatever seasonings you feel like shaking in, but sometimes I just can’t get enough of curry. Feel free to play with these recipes to suit your taste.
A fun twist on this would be to use orange or purple cauliflower. In recipes that call for steaming and mashing, the colored cauliflowers tend to get washed out and end up just looking grey and unappetizing, but in this application I think they would add a wonderfully vibrant burst of color – unfortunately, this time of year, all I could find was regular white. Still, the seasoning and roasting adds a nice warmth to the dish.
Besides being pretty to look at, this dish is easy to make, delicious to eat, and healthy to boot. Here’s what I threw together:
Preheat oven to 425f.
Stir together all ingredients except mint/parsley/cilantro, microwave for 10-15 seconds to loosen the mixture, then stir in fresh herbs.
Nice post! I was just speaking with someone about cauliflower as an underused vegetable.
Your photographs are gorgeous! Do you have a fancy-shmancy camera or are you just skillful with lighting?
My camera is in the Canon Rebel line, and is below professional grade but above point and shoot. Having a good camera certainly can help, but many bloggers and straight-up photographers I know do incredible things with the most basic equipment. I’d say skill comes before megapixels or lenses any day.
In terms of lighting, I’m still learning (see some of my older posts for examples, or even some of my newer ones). Natural light is always best, and is what I used for this curry, but I often don’t have the option to shoot in daylight. I have a small studio-flash set up, but it’s definitely not my strong point.
Sometimes I guess I just get lucky!