|Technically this Christmas Cauliflower is probably a side dish, but I ate a big bowl of it for lunch!|
I'm still in California hanging out, so obviously I haven't been cooking much the last few days. I thought I might have to fall short on my pledge to publish a meatless recipe every Sunday so folks would have ideas for Meatless Monday, but then I remembered that when I made this cauliflower I ate a big bowl of it for lunch. Therefore, even though this is technically a side dish, for me it made a fantastic meatless meal! (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) And with the red and green colors and all the flavors going on here from red bell peppers, green olives, pine nuts, and capers, this is cauliflower at its finest, which is why I think it deserves the title of Christmas Cauliflower!
(If you're following Meatless Monday, you can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index. For Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)
I added the red bell pepper because I thought it would look pretty and taste good with the cauliflower. (It did!)
Toss the cauliflower pieces and red bell pepper pieces in a large bowl with olive oil, season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper, and spread them out on a cookie sheet and start roasting.
I couldn't help increasing the amounts of green olives, pine nuts, and capers in the recipe. And I used the flat-leaf parsley because I had some in my garden, but I'd say you could definitely skip that if you wanted.
After the cauliflower and peppers have roasted for 20 minutes, put them back in the bowl and toss with the sliced green olives, pine nuts, capers, and parsley (if using). You can add a tiny bit more olive oil if you think you need it, but I didn't.
(Makes 4-6 servings, depending on what else you're serving with it; recipe adapted from Food and Wine Annual Cookbook 2008, a book with a lot of good ideas.)
1 head cauliflower, cut up into smallish, same-size pieces
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds cut out and cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 T olive oil
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 T pine nuts (slivered almonds would also be nice if you don't want to buy pine nuts)
2/3 cup sliced green olives
1-2 T capers
2 T chopped flat-leaf parsley (completely optional, but if you have some it adds some nice green color)
cut lemon pieces to squeeze over (optional)
Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Cut the cauliflower into smallish, same-size pieces and cut the red bell pepper into half inch dice. Put chopped cauliflower and peppers into a plastic bowl and toss with 2 T olive oil, stirring so the vegetables are all lightly coated with oil. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper and stir again. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
While the cauliflower and peppers are roasting, slice the olives and measure out the pine nuts and capers. Chop the parsley if using. After 20 minutes, remove cookie sheet from the oven, put the cauliflower and peppers back into the same bowl, and toss with the olives, pine nuts, capers, and parsley (if using.) Spread the mixture on to the cookie sheet again and roast an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are starting to brown and the olive pieces are looking slightly cooked. Serve hot, with a slice of lemon to squeeze over if desired.
If you don't eat this all at once it will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two. I would reheat it in a very hot dry non-stick pan instead of using a microwave.
South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this dish is a wonderfully low-glycemic ingredient, making this a great recipe for any phase of the South Beach Diet. If you don't want to eat a big bowl for lunch like I did, it would make a nice side dish for something like Baked Tofu with Soy and Sesame or Garlicky Roasted Chickpeas with Feta, Mint, and Lemon for a Meatless Monday dinner.
More Tasty Ideas for Holiday-Worthy Cauliflower:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Cauliflower Gratin with Sharp Cheddar and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pureed Cauliflower with Garlic, Parmesan, and Goat Cheese from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower Slices with Kalamata Olive and Garlic Vinaigrette from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Purple Cauliflower and Arugula Salad from Food Blogga
Lemon Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Sumac from Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Cauliflower and Kale Salad from Steamy Kitchen
Cauliflower "CousCous" with Basil Lemon Sauce from Leite's Culinaria
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)