Updated: Oct 10
We are an omnivorous household, but I have definitely been working on adding more plant-based meals into our dinner routine. And although summer produce gets most of the love, the truth is that there are all kinds of amazing winter fruits and veggies that deserve your attention. Take cauliflower, for instance. All it takes is a little olive oil, a fun spice blend (ahem), and about an hour in a hot oven to transfer this colorless orb into a magical dish worthy of being at the center of your dinner table.
For this recipe, I've used my California Seaside Spice Blend, which is herbaceous and savory and brings out the delicate nuttiness of the cauliflower just so. And when paired with a fennel and citrus salad, this recipe will brighten even the darkest winter evening.
So let's get cooking, shall we?
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel & Citrus Salad
1 large head of cauliflower (about 2-3 pounds)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon California Seaside Spice Blend
1 medium fennel bulb
1 small shallot
Juice from 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 450F. Trim the bottom of the cauliflower so that it stands upright on its own. Rub all over with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and season with 2 tablespoons California Seaside Spice Blend. Transfer to a shallow baking dish and add 1 1/2 cups water to the dish. Roast for about 1 hour, until the exterior is nicely browned and a knife slides easily into the core of the cauliflower.
While the cauliflower is roasting, peel and thinly slice the shallot and place in a small bowl with ice water for about 5 minutes to tame the raw bite of the shallot. (Note: You can skip this step if raw onion doesn't bother you. I like the flavor, but my husband does not, so I do this extra step for him.)
Trim the fronds and stalks from the fennel, and set aside several small fronds for garnish. Cut the fennel in half lengthwise and cut out core. Thinly slice the cored fennel and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the sliced shallot.
Cut the top and bottom from the oranges so that they sit upright on their own. Trim the peel and pith from them so that all you see is the juicy flesh. Slice into thin rings and add to the bowl with the fennel and shallot. Add the lemon juice and the remaining teaspoon of California Seaside Spice Blend. Toss gently to mix. Taste and add more California Seaside Spice Blend, if desired. Toss again and top with fennel fronds.
When the cauliflower is finished roasting, transfer it to a cutting board and cut into either quarters or four large slices, whichever you prefer. Distribute salad among 4 plates and top with roasted cauliflower. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately. Accompany it with some quinoa for additional plant-based protein.