When you roast a cauliflower, it develops caramel-nutty flavors that are beautifully enhanced by the flavor of browned butter. This robust dish can be the centerpiece of a vegetarian meal or a side for roasted meat. It's also a good substitute for roasted potatoes if you're looking to reduce your carb intake. The cauliflower needs to cook for more than an hour, with the butter added toward the end of the cooking and used as a finishing baste.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 1 large head cauliflower (a scant 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (or 425 degrees if you're concerned about smoke).
Cut off the stem of the cauliflower as close to the base as possible and remove any leaves that might still be attached. Rub the oil evenly over the cauliflower.
Place the cauliflower in an appropriately sized ovenproof saute pan or skillet. Slide the pan into the oven and roast the cauliflower for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and smear the butter over the surface. Sprinkle with a light pinch of salt and return to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes, basting the cauliflower a couple of times with the melted butter, until the cauliflower is well caramelized and tender; a knife inserted should meet no resistance.
Slice and serve from the pan.
Adapted from "Ruhlman's Twenty," by Michael Ruhlman (Chronicle, 2011).
Tested by Jeff Donald.
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