Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower from Ina Garten
I’m a huge fan of Ina Garten. I have every one of her cookbooks. I DVR her cooking shows. I have never made a single recipe from any of her cookbooks that was not good. In fact, 90 percent of everything I’ve ever made from Ina has been outstanding. There’s only one little thing that’s problematic with Ina’s cooking, and that’s simply that she loves butter and cream. Now mind you, I love those ingredients too, but you just can’t have lemon cream sauce on every chicken breast you eat (even if that is low carb). Nonetheless, this recipe stands out in her collection because it’s easy to make, low carbohydrate and is really, simply delicious. It’s great warm or cold, and it’s a great item for your lunch box. It’s so good that I usually make a double batch.
Technique Makes All the Difference
What makes this recipe taste so good? Of course, it’s the ingredients. But even more, it’s the technique. That’s something that’s ignored a lot in so-called “diabetic” recipes. Maybe that’s because the recipe writers don’t think we care about it, or aren’t willing to take the time to cook something with proper technique. But Ina cares.
The way this dish comes together, even though it’s super-simple, maximizes the garlic and lemon flavor. She has us blanch the garlic not only to get the skins off the cloves, but to reduce a bit of the garlic’s power. Then, the whole lot is roasted to deepen the flavor of the cauliflower and the garlic.
Here’s an additional tip that makes a huge difference in getting the lovely brown edges on the cauliflower. Turn on your oven to 450 degrees F. Then stick a large sheet or jelly roll pan in, as it’s heating. Don’t worry, the pan will be fine — you’re just getting it ready to receive the cauliflower. Now, cut up the cauliflower and put it in a bowl with the blanched, peeled garlic and the olive oil. Toss until everything is well-coated.
Once the oven is at temperature, carefully pull out the empyt, hot sheet pan and pour the cauliflower mixture on to it. You’ll hear a lovely sizzle as it hits the pan — and you’ll probably feel like a restaurant chef. Close the oven door and leave things alone for 7-10 minutes before stirring — and you’ll have some pretty professional-looking roasted cauliflower on your hands.
1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
4 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds; drain and peel. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp salt, and black pepper. Spread into a single layer and roast, stirring twice, until the cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices. Add the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, parsley, pine nuts, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt, toss well and serve hot or warm. Serves 6.