Whole Roasted Cauliflower w/ Sumach & Flowers

They say that you’re technically a grown-up at age 18… Well, I don’t know about you, but I most certainly wasn’t a grown-up at 18. To be honest, I’m still not sure wether I’d actively call myself “grown-up”, even now. First, this term leaves no room for imagination. It’s such an unforgiving term. Maybe I also kind of want to keep a bit of that childish, Peter Pan like spirit in me, forever.

So, I’m not actually against growing up and responsibility (although it does feel like a trap, the whole growing up thing). But it feels important to me to keep wondering and marveling at life, and to ensure you keep a certain lightheartedness, how children know it. Do we really have to leave our foolish ideas behind…?

Yet, I’ve been marveling at the beauty of that strange balance, between foolish ideas and down-to-earth maturity. Lately, I bought myself an umbrella. Not a tiny one that fits into a handbag. But a proper, large, classy black one, with a curvy handle. And I couldn’t help but smile at myself at this serious, grown-up notion. With a quick stride, I was walking through the city, feeling utterly business-like and a little fancy-shmancy.

On another note, I got myself a new cook book. Donna Hay, to add to my ever growing collection (I think I’m counting 9 or 10 now, though they’re divided on our ginormous bookshelf and because it’s a color coordinated one, the Hay books aren’t all next to each other, so counting is more difficult). In her latest book, “Easy”, I saw this cauliflower dish that I had to make immediately. It’s nothing to special – I must have pinned a hundred whole, roasted cauliflower dishes on Pinterest in my time – but Hay’s was particularly nicely plated. What’s great about her particular recipe is, that she pre-cooks the cauliflower, blanching it in water before she roasts it. This renders the flower more juicy and tender. I like.

And yes, cauliflower is an all-rounder. But I like it best when it’s roasted or baked. The nutty flavor it develops when roasted is so delicious and quite addictive. As a one-piece, it also looks impressive. I like to serve and carve it right at the table, like you would when you’re proudly showing off your roasted duck, chicken or turkey to the guests. This surely deserves the spotlight.

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Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Recipe adapted from Donna Hay

Ingredients:
1 large cauliflower
2 bunches of herbs; i used rosemary and thyme, but sage would have been nice as well
6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. sumach + 1 tbsp. sea salt
Optional: dried, edible flowers for garnish

Directions:
Clean the cauliflower, leaving the leaves on. Heat a large pot of water, adding the herbs, garlic and and vegetable broth. Blanch the cauliflower in it for 8 minutes, until almost tender. Drain and reuse the herbs and the garlic: spread it on a baking sheet lined with parchment, then set the cauliflower on top. Brush with melted butter mixed with the olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes at 220º C / 400º F until nicely browned and crisp on the outside. Mix the sumach and salt. Plate the cauliflower and serve with the sumach-salt and with some dried flowers. Ready when you are!/twocol_one]

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