i debated what kind of story to share with you here about this cumin roasted cauliflower. option 1 was make something up about this cauliflower, an option that would likely include opining on how much i love cumin seeds. because i do. i’d probably also mention that the recipe is easy and comes together quickly. because it does.
option 2 is talking about two totally unrelated but interesting articles i read in the ny times yesterday. those of you who have been around here for a hot minute probably know which option i went with…
so yesterday i read these 2 articles in the ny times…
on the surface, they don’t have much to do with each other and they certainly don’t have much to do with cumin roasted cauliflower. but they were interesting and they got me thinking, so here we go.
the first article was about how folks in houston whose houses were badly damaged by hurricane harvey are getting creative and making do to continue cooking food for their families and, in some cases, the volunteers who are ripping moldy drywall out of their houses. it’s a good read and the pictures are powerful so i’ll just let you go view it for yourself. reading the article gave me even more appreciation for our new oven and the fact that we have a safe, clean (relatively, anyway), intact kitchen to slot it into.
the second article was about how wildly popular cake mixes are in rural alaskan villages. noting that the popularity of cake mixes is waning in the contiguous 48 states, the article explained the economics as well as the culture and sense of community that surround cake mixes in an area where ingredients are scarce, expensive, and have to withstand a rough journey before they arrive in someone’s kitchen.
again, i won’t try to summarize the whole article but it was another thought provoking read and, as someone who fits squarely in the contiguous-48-waning-interest-in-cake-mixes demographic (see related: testing multiple homemade cake recipes to create my personal favorite), it encouraged me to consider other perspectives and think about how much my preferences are shaped by my environment and the opportunities available to me.
so anyway, as i sat thinking about both of these articles, i realized the underlying theme that ran through both of them was how people are resilient and creative and determined and you can get a lot done with that combination. as i said, it doesn’t have much of anything to do with cumin roasted cauliflower, but it’s what was on my mind and it’s food related, so we’re going with it.
pairs well with
this cumin roasted cauliflower would pair really nicely with a rotisserie chicken you picked up on the way home. any sort of indian inspired lentil/bean dish would also be a delicious pairing. i’m also picturing some super simple black-beans-over-rice-with-some-fresh-cilantro being a match made in heaven. (wait, i sort of already did that. so, yeah, that.)
- 1 large (~2 lbs. / 907 g.) head of cauliflower, cut into 1” (2.5 cm) florets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeño, with seeds and ribs (omit seeds and ribs for less heat)
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric, see notes
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
- set the oven rack in the upper third of the oven and place a large rimmed baking sheet on the rack. preheat the oven and the baking sheet to 475° F.
- put the cauliflower florets in a large mixing bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the cumin seeds. once the oven is preheated, spread the cumin seed coated cauliflower out on the preheated baking sheet and set the bowl aside for later. roast the cauliflower for about 20 minutes, until the stalks are easily pierced by the tip of a sharp knife and brown spots have developed on the cauliflower.
- while the cauliflower is roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger to the pan and sauté, stirring frequently, for 8 – 10 minutes, until everything is soft and starting to brown. add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne and stir constantly for 2 minutes. the mixture should be very fragrant.
- transfer the cauliflower back to the large mixing bowl and add the onion/spice mixture. toss well and serve immediately. leftovers will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days, though if reheated in the microwave, the cauliflower won’t be as crispy. you could take the chill off in the microwave and then re-crisp the cauliflower in the toaster oven, if you missed the crisp.
be careful with turmeric; it loves to stain countertops, plastic utensils/food storage containers, sponges, dish towels, etc.
adapted from smitten kitchen’s indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes, which she adapted from gourmet’s february 2004 recipe also called indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes.