Author Notes: This is a super-simple, healthy way to eat a lovely vegetable. My mother is from Spain, and this is how she always prepared cauliflower. When we moved to the States and I saw the gloppy, cheese-covered version of how cauliflower is served in most American households, I was slightly horrified…. My children love this dish, it takes just minutes to make and it goes with just about everything…. —RaquelG
large head of cauliflower, stem and leaves removed
bottle extra-virgin olive oil; the best quality that you can afford. I prefer the peppery-tasting versions as opposed to the grassy/herbal lighter-flavored types.
lemon, cut in half and de-seeded
kosher salt, to taste
- Put an inch or two of water in your steamer pot over high heat until boiling vigorously. I don’t have a traditional steamer and use my pasta pot with the draining insert; perfect for larger vegetables like cauliflower, squash, cabbage rolls, etc. Wash cauliflower and place in steamer whole. Sprinkle well with salt and close steamer lid (most of this salt will fall off into the water anyway, but my mother always did this, so I do too). Steam until a sharp knife inserted into the center of the cauliflower pierces smoothly and easily with little resistance, about 8-10 minutes depending on the size of your cauliflower. We like our cauliflower fairly soft; you may prefer it a bit more toothsome and that’s up to you – just test early and often with your knife; the more resistance, the firmer the veggie!
- Remove cauliflower from steamer onto serving plate and cut into wedges or slabs approximately 3/4 inch wide; if the florets crumble a bit that’s just fine. With your finger partially over the EVOO spout (unless you happen to have a squeeze bottle or some other fancy delivery system for your finishing oil), drizzle generously with olive oil, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over all and season to taste with salt. Taste to see if the oil to acid ratio is to your liking and adjust accordingly. Serve immediately, piping hot.