Cauliflower

Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower

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When it comes to food, sometimes, you need fancy and elaborate. Sometimes you want to take on a complicated recipe or new-to-you technique. Sometimes, you (well, I) want — need, even — to spend hours in the kitchen.

And sometimes… you’ve been on business travel for the better part of 10 days, your refrigerator is empty, and you’d give your right arm for anything that doesn’t taste like it could have come from an airport, gas station, or chain restaurant.

6 ingredients (plus salt & pepper). Vegetarian. Low effort, high return.

Happy Monday!

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Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower

From Bon Appetit

Yield: 4 servings (2 if it’s a main course)

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 medium onion, sliced
4 sprigs thyme
4 unpeeled garlic cloves
3 Tbs olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 425°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together cauliflower, onion, thyme, garlic and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until almost tender, 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, toss to combine, and roast until cauliflower is tender, 10-12 minutes longer.

Parmesan Cauliflower

While eating and drinking my way traversing across New Zealand, I experienced an interesting mix of cuisine: a lot of amazing wine, too much bad British food, and some delicious fare featuring fresh ingredients prepared simply.

One dish I couldn’t get enough of was a creamy, cheesy cauliflower dish served at an adventure lodge in River Valley on the Rangitikei River. Of the eight or so dishes on the family dinner table, I kept going back for more of this cauliflower. I finally asked the cook how he made it, and was surprised at just how simple it was: Parmesan, cream and cauliflower. I’ve lightened this recipe to use Half & Half, but feel free to indulge more with cream or cut back by substituting milk.

Sorry, no pics for this one — it’s not the most photogenic dish, especially after dark on white china.

Parmesan Cauliflower

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

2 Tablespoons flour

2-3 cups Half & Half (use more if you like more sauce, or expect leftovers

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or to taste)

1 medium head cauliflower, steamed or roasted

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Gradually pour in Half & Half, stirring constantly. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat and cook until sauce begins to thicken. Whisk in cheese. Add cauliflower. Salt and pepper to taste.