This recipe for roasted cauliflower is easy and brings out the best in brassicas.1 The smoked paprika is the secret ingredient that kicks it up to a whole other level. The result is a plate of smoky, salty, tender vegetable bits with crispy edges. It goes great as a side to a meat-based dish or can stand alone as a main attraction. Cauliflower is my go-to vegetable to roast, but you can use any type of hardy produce including broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, fennel root, or carrots. Or make a mix of anything you find interesting in the produce aisle.
15 minutes for prep. 20 minutes for roasting.
4 as a side dish
1 large or 2 small cauliflower, rinsed and cut into thumb-sized florets (See note.) 3 glugs of olive oil 4 cloves of garlic, minced Kosher salt, about a teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper, about ¼ teaspoon Smoked paprika, about 1 teaspoon Lemon (optional) Cilantro, minced (optional)
Heat oven to 425℉/220℃.
Cut your cauliflower into small florets and put in a large bowl. Glug the olive oil evenly over the cauliflower. Mix with spoon so all pieces are lightly coated. Throw in the garlic. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Toss again. Taste a piece to see if it is seasoned correctly.
Spread cauliflower evenly in one layer over a baking pan. Each piece of cauliflower must touch the metal of the pan.
Roast for 20 minutes or until the bottom edges are brown and crispy. You may want to check in on your veggies at the 15 minute mark to see if they are done as you don’t want them to burn.
This is completely optional as it will be delicious once it comes out of the oven, but I’m channeling my inner Samin Nosrat here. When the cauliflower is nice and crispy, plate it and squeeze a lemon to give it a touch of acid and sprinkle with cilantro.
Don’t forget to include the stem too. I usually just slice the stem into disks and mix with the rest. Honestly, think of this recipe as a guide to roasting “Any Kind of” hardy vegetable and not any directive recipe. Mix and match vegetables, seasonings etc. The baking pan is your canvass and you my friend are the painter.
Also known as cruciferous vegetables which always makes me think of a wizarding spell from Harry Potter. ↩
This is an almost no cook dish that just requires you to have one ingredient on hand – silken tofu. The rest of the ingredients are staples in our kitchen. My cousin, Susanne, made this for us when we visited her in Switzerland.
If you have ever had steamed fish in a Chinese restaurant, this is the same flavor profile except that tofu is substituted for the fish. This makes the dish easier, cheaper, quicker to make and, if you love tofu, tastier too!
4 people as part of a larger Chinese style dinner.
1 package of silken tofu (See note.)
2 TB cooking oil
1 TB of soy sauce
1 green onion, sliced thinly
Handful of cilantro, minced
Cut the tofu in half lengthwise and then again into 1/2 inch slices. You should have 10-12 slices total. Fan them out on a plate like fallen dominoes. If the tofu releases a lot of water, gently discard liquid into the sink.
Finely chop the green onion. If you are having guests, do it on the diagonal as it is classier. Mince the cilantro. Sprinkle both on top of the tofu.
Pour the soy sauce evenly over the tofu slices.
In a frying pan, heat the oil until it is smoking. It needs to be hot. Carefully pour the oil over the tofu. It should sizzle and hiss on contact with the herbs and tofu. If it doesn’t, your oil wasn’t hot enough. It’s still tasty.
If you can’t get silken tofu, get the softest variety you can find.
Silken tofu is very delicate so be careful handling it. I usually take it out like I would a cake by using a knife to slide around the edges and putting a plate over it and then flipping the entire thing over. The rest of the dish can be made on that plate so you don’t have to try and transfer it.
This is a delicious one wok dish served over rice. Simple and quick to make with 3 main ingredients. I learned to make this freshman year in college from my roommate. It is now a go to meal.
4 people as meal
2 tsp cooking oil
2 chicken thighs, deboned, minced, marinated (See note.)
1 can of creamed corn (See note.)
1 can of baby corn, drained and each baby corn chopped into halves or thirds
Green onions, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
Rice for serving
In a wok or skillet, heat oil until smoking. Stir fry minced chicken until bits are lightly browned. Set aside in a dish.
In wok, heat oil until smoking: add ginger, wait, add green onions, wait, add garlic, then add chopped baby corn. Reintroduce the chicken back into wok. Mix it up.
Pour creamed corn into the wok. Cook until the corn is heated through and bubbly.
Serve over rice, preferably white jasmine rice.
Marinate chicken with moderate amounts of salt, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, corn starch, and fresh ground black pepper. This is a guide. Do what you like—salt is the only must ingredient here. If you like spicy, throw in red pepper flakes or Japanese shimchi powder. You can do this ahead of time—either the night before or in the morning so that dinner comes together quickly.
Be sure to buy cans of creamed corn, not whole kernel corn.