Call it what you will, perhaps vegetable discrimination is an appropriate phrasing, but when I’m at the market, I often overlook cauliflower in favor of more brightly colored vegetables. Though it’s generally true that vibrant produce is your best source for phytonutrients and antioxidants, cauliflower is in every way an exception. This subtle superstar is every bit as nutritious as its greener market-mates and is packed with important vitamins and minerals. It’s rich in calcium, vitamin B and C, acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, and is loaded with fiber!
(now you’re thinking) but the taste…. I can get the same health benefits from broccoli….so why?
Once you’ve tried this dish you’ll understand why. With cauliflower, something magical, dare I say transcendent happens when you stick it in the oven for an hour. The exterior slightly caramelizes and turns a crispy golden brown, while the inside becomes almost butter soft. It’s so delicious you could eat it all on its own, but it’s especially wonderful in this warm, autumnal salad, alongside briny olives and nutty quinoa.
ingredients: 2 small heads of organic cauliflower (I used yellow and white but you can play around, purple is beautiful too!), 1 small red onion, 1 lemon, 2 cups of cooked quinoa (I used a blend of white and red), sea salt, olive oil, 1/2 pitted kalamata olives, parsley, and feta cheese (optional).
to prepare: cook quinoa. preheat oven to 400 degrees. wash cauliflower and cut into small florets. spread on a baking sheet. drizzle to coat with olive oil, sea salt and 1 tsp. of fresh lemon zest. place in oven for 45 minutes to an hour, tossing every one in awhile to roast evenly. about 15 minutes before you remove it from the oven, add the thinly sliced red onion to the baking tray. in a large serving bowl, mix together the quinoa, minced parsley, and olives. toss with the olive oil, juice of 1/2 a lemon, and sea salt to taste. add the cauliflower and mix again. garnish with feta (optional) and a bit more parsley. Enjoy!