Food recipe: The poor, misunderstood, much maligned, downtrodden, and delicious cauliflower

Vegetable Food Recipe Week: Day 2
I was roaming food blogs the other day (and there are some amazing blogs out there, I have got to get a blog roll together), when I tripped across not one, not two, but three or four recent posts maligning the poor cauliflower.

Mostly, people were bemoaning the horrible stench and soggy texture of boiled cauliflower. Well, I must say, they would be stinky and soggy if they had been boiled for ages, too.

Rule #1: Never, never boil your cauliflower
Even if it did not make it stinky and soggy, it leeches out taste as it leeches out nutrients. Making it pointless to eat. Okay, you ask (amazing how I read minds, yes?), what do I do with this thing? Ah, this is where I can, nay will, help. You roast it.

Rule #2: Always roast cauliflower
Roasting makes almost everything taste better because high heat tends to bring out and enrich flavors. Except ice cream. It just melts.

Rule #3: Always buy two
If you are going to bother, then bother with two. Worst comes to worst, you will have leftovers. If you do, you can microwave 'em. But you won't.

Okay. Ready to try the dreaded cauliflower? Then here goes ...
Food recipe: Roast cauliflower with cheddar cheese and a kick
2 cauliflowers
1 or 2 cups of the best, sharpest cheddar you can find, shredded
1/4 cup, scant, of extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping teaspoon sea salt
1 scant teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 yellow onions

Preheat the oven to 450. Cut the cauliflower flowerettes apart (I hold a small paring knife at an angle and cut the stem away, trim any stems left over at the base of the flowerettes so they are loosely the same size, then cut the bigger flowerettes in half, as needed). Rinse, then toss with the olive oil and spices.

Spread on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper (for easy clean up). Pop in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes.

After you pop the cauliflower into the oven, place the chopped onions into a fry pan and sauté them at low heat while the cauliflower cooks (check them after about 20 minutes, and then every 5 minutes or so, to make sure you don't burn them). You are caramelizing the onions which will give them a rich, sweet, taste (Feel free to add some brown sugar, say a heaping tablespoon, and / or a small splash of orange juice to enrich the flavor, if you want to play. I typically do.)

When the cauliflower is done (
think al dente), pull it out of the oven. Sprinkle the caramelized onions over the cauliflower, then the cheddar. Sprinkle with more paprika and black pepper. Pop back into the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbling (keep an eye on it - this only takes a few minutes).

Serve and enjoy.
Now wasn't that lovely cauliflower recipe all I promised, and more? Well, if you think that was fun, just wait until tomorrow. I won't tell you what we are making, but I will tell you I have a bunch of crisp, green spinach in one hand and a basket of the sweetest, juiciest strawberries in the other. So join me tomorrow for another edition of Vegetable Food Recipe Week.