I've been roasting a lot of vegetables lately, inspired largely by the book Fast Fresh and Green, by Susie Middleton, published in 2010. She has included a chart that helps choose the size of pieces to roast and how long it will take for them to reach a delicious stage of brownness with out scorching. She also has a number of special recipes for roasting vegetables with particular seasoning or with several kinds roasting together.
I decided to try roasting cauliflower with something on it that would make it less white, so it would be a little more interesting on the plate. I tried curry or curry spices, which wasn't bad, but decided I like a cajun flavor more in this case. The roasting makes the cauliflower tender all through with a sense that the outer edge has been fried. Yum!
So here is the recipe, with the spice mix first:
Cajun Style Seasoning Mix (Adapted from Down Home Healthy, Leah Chase and Johnny Rivers, National Inst. of Health, 1994
They call it "Hot 'n Spicy Seasoning.")
¼ cup paprika (preferably smoked paprika--so good!)
2 tablespoons crushed dry oregano leaves
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
½ teaspoon dry mustard
Mix all ingredients in a jar with a lid. Store what you don’t use right away in the cupboard with the lid on. Makes about 1/3 cup.
Oven-roasted Cauliflower with Cajun Spice
Preheat the oven to 450°.
Cut cauliflower and arrange it in a single layer on a large baking pan. Cut large curds from the head and then cut them into pieces with at least one flat side and a maximum thickness of ¾ inch. (Start by cutting each curd in half lengthwise and then dividing the halves lengthwise, with a little of the stem on each.)
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a 9 x 13 inch backing pan and use one hand to toss the cauliflower in the oil, coating it. Rearrange it in a single layer.
Sprinkle a little Cajun spice mix on each piece of cauliflower. (If your shaking skills are not great, try putting it in a jar with a shaker top, but a rather narrow neck, so you can aim at each little bit of cauliflower.)
Put in the oven and cook about 17 minutes. Check. It could take 3-5 longer. It should be browned on the bottom but not black anywhere. Serve hot!
One 9 x 13 inch pan full serves 2 people and uses about 40% of a standard cauliflower head.