As part of my Market Watch duties for the Oregonian's FoodDay section, I went to the OHSU farmers market up on Pill Hill which is held every Tuesday afternoon. It was a cool, cloudy day and I hadn't had lunch yet, so I stopped at Hoda's stand and got a ridiculously great falafel sandwich. I was wiping off some tahini sauce that had dribbled down my chin when the clouds parted and a beam of heavenly light fell on an amazing display of technicolor cauliflower, the likes of which I'd never seen before.
Inspired, I picked up one of the Cheddar cauliflowers (the purple ones are called Confetti) and brought it home for dinner. Having heard that roasting brings out the natural sugars present in the cauliflower and gives it much more flavor than steaming, I decided to simply divide it into florets and toss it with olive oil and salt and roast it in the oven. And with that gorgeous orange color, I had to serve it with something that would set it off like a jewel, so I went with Mario Batali's Risotto al Barolo.
The pair worked like a charm, and not even the dude, who considers animal flesh at every meal a must-have, missed the meat.
1 head cauliflower, divided into florets
1/4 c. olive oil or enough to coat florets lightly
Salt to taste
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
In large bowl, toss florets with olive oil and salt. Put in roasting pan and roast in oven for 25 to 35 minutes.