Author Notes: This summer, thanks to my partner (a former chef, what luck!) I discovered the magic that is cauliflower substitution. Cauliflower easily subs for rice and potatoes in a wide range of recipes and is easier on my stomach than those starchy staples. Plus, cauliflower has many health benefits and, when cooked correctly, does not have the smell and taste we deemed disgusting as kids. My finicky steak and potatoes baby boomer father saw me making cauliflower dishes for dinner and requested – without my asking – to try some. He soon asked for a second serving. This recipe is a tasty take on roasted potatoes and works well as a side dish or, for me, a small lunch after a big breakfast. Months ago I’d used sumac with molasses and pecans for a salad and finally found another use for this tart spice. The rosemary oil adds depth and the sumac nuance to an if-it-were-potatoes-it’d-typically-be-at-a-brunch-or-dinner food. Enjoy!
[A side note: I accidentally burned myself while making this recipe and heard from fellow chefs that a good dab of mustard on the burn eases the pain and prevents a bad burn. And I can see a good dab of Dijon being added to the oil and sumac mixture giving this recipe an added kick, if you’re in the mood for experimenting!] —lydiaencyclopda
3/4 – 1
head of cauliflower
tablespoon rosemary oil plus more for roasting dish
1 – 1 1/2
teaspoons lemon juice
cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
pepper to taste
grated parmesan (optional)
- Fill a saucepan about halfway with water and set to boil (for those who want their cauliflower to have a firm crunch, you can likely skip this step but I did not try it). Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Boil: Quickly wash the cauliflower head and cut off any brown spots. On a cutting board with a good knife, cut the cauliflower curds (aka florets) off of the head. Place in boiling water for about five minutes. Drain well. [Another option for this step is to steam the cauliflower.]
- While the curds are boiling, in a medium-size bowl, combine 1 tablespoon rosemary oil with sumac, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add curds to this mixture and coat well.
- Place the coated curds in a cast-iron skillet or sauté pan and over low to medium heat, cook for five minutes, stirring often.
- If desired, top with parmesan cheese to serve.