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Curried Roasted Cauliflower

from Kitchen Playdates by Lauren Bank Deen
Curried Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder or Garam masala
1 tablespoon black or yellow mustard seeds

Serves 4

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in
Kitchen Playdates
by Lauren Bank Deen from Chronicle Books


Roast cauliflower at high heat, and it becomes a completely different vegetable. The sugars caramelize, the flavor deepens, and the cauliflower takes on a lovely nutty character. Prepared this way, I've surprised many parents as their kids clamor for more. It's great roasted with just olive oil, but toss in a few spices and it really stands out as an ideal complement for lamb chops, pork roast, or the everyday roast chicken.

Sometimes I make my own spice mixture when I have the time, but more often I just reach for store-bought Madras curry powder or garam masala. You can use yellow mustard seeds, but try to find the black ones that show up all the time in Indian cooking. They're really worth seeking out, for the distinctive aroma and crunch they add to this dish. When we were living in Los Angeles, I once bought 5 pounds of brown mustard seeds at an Indian restaurant supply store. Anthony thought I was nuts, but the color is so beautiful, I kept them displayed in a big glass jar.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large roasting pan. Try not to crowd the cauliflower; otherwise, it will steam and you won't get the delicious caramelized bits. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, shaking the pan and stirring the cauliflower midway through roasting.

Transfer to a serving dish and taste for seasoning; you may need another sprinkling of salt and a grinding of fresh pepper.

Kids in the kitchen: Older kids can separate the cauliflower into florets with a small knife, under supervision, and younger ones can help with their hands or a plastic knife, and measure and mix the ingredients together.

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