19 - Roasted Cauliflower and/or Broccoli

Because the flavors are so concentrated, roast vegetables always suggest massive effort. In fact, they are incredibly simple to prepare. Cauliflower is particularly spectacular.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Use one or two cauliflowers (one is scarcely enough for two or even three people). Get rid of the big center stalk (though I’m sure that would be fine too--so I will say--reserve for another use--though I suspect you--like me--will--unless the economy gets even worse--- most likely put it in the compost, or garbage, or wherever vegetable scraps go in your kitchen these days). Break off the florets--and slice them into relatively thin pieces--perhaps between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. Spread the pieces--in a single layer--on a cookie sheet--or jelly roll pan (that's slightly bigger than a cookie sheet with edges--but the point is--you need a big flat surface)--which you've covered with a thin layer of olive oil—if you want sprinkle more olive oil on top—though very little is really needed. Spread it out nicely in a single layer. Place in pre-heated oven--after about ten minutes--stir it around. Cook until most of the pieces have brown and crispy edges. Remove from oven and salt. I originally made this as part of a pasta sauce, started making this to make with pasta--but it almost inevitably gets eaten as soon as it’s removed from the oven. As a bonus, if you make enough to have plenty left over after your picking—you can whip up some pasta. Sauté a few crushed garlic cloves with some pepper flakes, throw in the cauliflower, some capers, parsley, wine or water—and turn it into a pasta sauce. You get the idea.

You can prepare broccoli the same way—even easier to cut—-if not quite as thrilling. We like it very crispy with lemon.

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