Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnuts and Pomegranate

Individual Plate of Cauliflower
Perfect Combo of Veggies, Fruit, Herbs, and Nuts

Recipe adapted from Live Earth Farm

Only a master chef could conceive of putting cauliflower together with smoky hazelnuts, crunchy greens, bright pomegranate, vinegar, and sweet spices. This particular master chef, Rebecca Mastoris, is also a caterer, Bauman College cooking instructor, and popular speaker with over 40 years of culinary experience. As if that weren’t enough, she also writes recipes for our CSA Live Earth Farm. Her unusual cauliflower dish features both well-balanced flavor and a colorful, festive appearance that adds eye-appeal to the table. In addition, it’s served at room temperature, so no need to stress about keeping it hot or cold. Try it at a holiday potluck, and you’ll likely see it disappear quickly, as I did last week. And get ready for some compliments!

Platter of Cauliflower with Serving Spoon
Beautiful Presentation and Fabulous Flavor
The only change that I made to the recipe was to reduce the olive oil by 1½ tablespoons. Eliminate the water and add another 1½ tablespoon of oil to the dressing if you prefer. Essentially you’re mixing equal amounts of celery, parsley, pomegranate, and hazelnuts with the cauliflower. This balance is key to the dish, although you could play with that a bit according to ingredients on hand. If you have some seeds left over from your pomegranate (and you probably will), you can sprinkle a few as a garnish to compliment the dark green parsley for the holiday season.

Bowl of Celery, Parsley, and Pomegranate
Active (Color) Ingredients
Speaking of pomegranates, here’s a technique to open a pomegranate (video) without cutting into the seeds. Be sure to make the score in the pom before smacking it, or you might squash some seeds like I did. Remember that pomegranate juice stains, so wipe up spills promptly and watch out for your favorite apron.

Wishing you a peaceful Thanksgiving holiday filled with sharing of interesting stories, exquisite food, and fun.

Closeup Pic of Colorful Cauliflower
Closeup of Goodness
Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnuts and Pomegranate
serves 8 - 10

1 large or 2 small heads cauliflower
3 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black or mixed pepper
5 tbsp. hazelnuts with skins
1/3 cup celery, in thin diagonal slices
1/3 cup whole parsley leaves
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
½ tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. water
½ tbsp. olive oil
¼ rounded tsp. cinnamon
¼ rounded tsp. allspice
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Break up the cauliflower into medium size florets. You will have about 9 cups.

Mix cauliflower with 3 tbsp. oil, ½ tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. ground black or mixed pepper. Spread cauliflower out in a roasting pan. Place pan on top rack of oven and roast 25 – 35 minutes, until surface is crisp and parts have turned brown. Check the cauliflower at about 20 minutes and flip if only one surface is browning—not all ovens are created equal.

Transfer cauliflower to large bowl and cool.

Decrease oven temperature to 325 degrees. Place hazelnuts on parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast in oven for 15 - 17 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together sherry vinegar, maple syrup, water, and ½ tablespoon olive oil. In another small bowl or cup, mix together cinnamon and allspice.

Allow the nuts to cool a bit, chop coarsely, and add to the cauliflower. Add celery, parsley, and pomegranate seeds and toss to mix.

Whisk vinegar mixture again to blend in oil, and pour over top of cauliflower. Sprinkle on spice mixture. Toss until well blended.

Serve on a platter at room temperature, garnished with extra pomegranate seeds if you like.

Semi closeup of cauliflower
Little Chance of Leftovers

Another colorful cauliflower image
Looks Good from Any Angle

Closeup of Platter with Cauliflower salad
Perfect for Winter Festivities

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