Many of us have fond memories of relishing food cooked by our grandmas or other cooks with years of time and experience in the kitchen. Deborah Madison, as the introduction to her most recent cookbook, In My Kitchen, states, “is an icon of cooking, not only for bringing vegetarian food into the mainstream and lifting it to new standards, but also for championing the farmers who grow our food and introducing us to new and forgotten varietals of vegetables and grains”.
This book offers over one hundred recipes that reflect her approach to cooking and eating at home. Some recipes have been published before but she introduces them and tells us how they have changed over the years. In My Kitchen is a new addition to my list of favorites, such as Jacques Pepin’s Essential Pepin; books with fantastic recipes and essential information on techniques informed with training and intelligence and perfected by time and practice.
My husband and I are cauliflower fans to start with but this recipe took our enthusiasm for this incredibly nutritious vegetable to the level of craving. We made ourselves stop eating when we had just a few florets left because I wanted to test her advice about re-warming the cauliflower. I’m happy to report Ms. Madison is correct in stating you can heat it up in a skillet with good results. It is delicious as a leftover if you can control yourself and not gobble it all up at one sitting!
Roasted Cauliflower from In My Kitchen by Deborah Madison
From the recipe – Tomato and Roasted Cauliflower Curry, page 252
Prep time 10 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F
Method – These directions, except for my notes in italics, are quoted directly from Ms. Madison to give you a feel for her style.
Say you need an appetizer, and all you have is a cauliflower. When that happened to me, I roasted the florets as described for the curry on page 252, adding a little extra curry (I added the curry powder to the recipe above), then made this curry mayonnaise from the vegan mayonnaise I always have on hand and some other ingredients. It’s a rather retro mayonnaise, and it used to embarrass me, but it’s really good with vegetables of all kinds. And it happily goes lots of other places as well.
The cauliflower is better hot than cold. It becomes kind of limp when cool; still tasty, but not so appealing. You can make it ahead of time. Just reheat it on top of the stove in a skillet and put it out, hot, with the mayonnaise. Broccoli, cut into florets and lightly steamed, is better chilled.
2 Tbsp. coconut oil or ghee
1 medium to large cauliflower, cut into approximately 2 inch florets
3/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. curry powder (I used 1/4 tsp, each of Penzeys Sweet and Hot Curry Powders)
1 tsp. black peppercorns, ground
3/4 tsp. salt
Melt the coconut oil or ghee in a wide pan, then add the cauliflower. Turn it into the melted fat, then add the rest of the ingredients and toss all together. Roast on a parchment covered baking sheet for 20 minutes, turning once or twice, until golden. Remove from pan and serve warm with Curry Mayonnaise if desired.
Curry Mayonnaise for Roasted Cauliflower or Steamed Broccoli – makes 1 cup
3/4 cup prepared mayonnaise (do yourself a favor and seek out either good quality vegan or Trader Joe’s Real Mayonnaise and skip all the artificial and questionable ingredients found in other brands)
1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream
1 1/2 tsps. curry powder
1 tsp. Patak’s curry paste, or more, to taste (I didn’t have this so I skipped it)
1/4 cup Major Grey’s mango chutney
Juice of 1 lime (I had no limes – used a lemon)
Snipped chives or green scallion leaves, for garnish
Mix together the mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder, curry paste, and chutney. Taste and then add the lime (or lemon) juice. Taste again to see if it needs more.
Scrape the mayonnaise into a bowl and garnish with the snipped chives or onions just before serving.