Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


A while back I read what may be for me the most compelling reason to eat light(er) and stay fit, ever.

When the zombies come, the reasoning went, and we all know that is not "if" but "when"....when they come, it will be the out of shape fatties that fall first.

To me, appeals to some cryptic nonspecific eventual sense of "feeling healthy" or "living longer" typically fall like the wet clods of reasoning dirt they are when confronted with oh, bacon say, or chocolate brownies with pecans.

The idea of surviving the onslaught of zombies however, now that is something with a little more immediacy, a little more purchase to it. I can totally grasp why I might want to stay a little lighter on my feet in order to put off my own zombification for as long as is humanly possible given the proximity of malls and shopping strips to my neighborhood.

We all know malls and shopping centers are like flystrips to zombies. So while our days surviving the inevitable zombie attack may be fatefully limited, at best we can try to postpone the inevitable.  It is the human thing to do.

And while postponing the inevitable, nothing spices that up like a bit of pre-emptive revenge, like, say, eating brains for dinner.

I don't mean actual brains here, I am talking about those Brains of the Vegetable World:Cauliflower Florets.

And I am not talking about your mamby-pamby boiled or steamed versions of cauliflower, nothing in what I am suggesting will require masses of cream or smothering blankets of cheese.

Nope. I am talking about Roasted Cauliflower. Simple. Elegant.  Light.  Delicious. And centrally to our discussion here today? A dish that will not be weighing you down when you are needing to flee for your life.

Here's the basic drill. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.

Rinse well then cut up your cauliflower (a medium head will feed 3-4 depending on the serving size) into individual florets. There will be some teensy pieces, don't worry - those will become the extra-crispy Secret Cook Rewards you get to eat off the pan while plating.

Coat the dried florets in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, a sprinkling of kosher salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.

Place on a foil lined pan (to make cleaning up a snap), making sure not to crowd the florets.

Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. I began stirring the first time I began to smell the cauliflower roasting, at about 11 minutes, then stir every 7-8 minutes after that to keep an eye on when to take them out.  You want roasted not charred, and the journey from one to the other is a short one.

And there you go! Roasted Cauliflower. Nutty, golden brown, delicious as it is, although some play around with stir-in seasonings like cumin, garlic salt, or red pepper flakes.

Eating roasted cauliflower brains may not serve up a slam dunk as zombification prevention, but until that has been absolutely proven, why take the chance?  Your life may hang in the balance.

In the meantime, I am doing copious research because that is just the kind of selfless, dedicated to the science, gal I am.

You're welcome.

Brain image courtesy of WebMD.


Iris said...

Hee hee! Deb, you made my morning. Love the illustration! And seriously, I love roasted cauliflower too. I've made it with a little curry powder plus extra cumin, but I like it plain as well. I've never tried to roast frozen cauliflower. Maybe it would work it it were completely thawed, drained, and dried off?

TexasDeb said...

Oooh - curry powder. That sounds perfect!

As to the illustration - guess I'll keep my day job - oh wait! I don't have one!

In my reading, it would seem that that the freshest cauliflower gives you the best roasted flavor. Don't know how frozen would do. Depend upon how fresh it was when frozen, how long in the freezer I'm guessing. Worth a shot I'd say because how great would that be as a treatment for frozen cauliflower if it worked!

Kathleen Scott said...

Now that has got to be the BEST unrelated intro I've ever read. I'm still chuckling. The Zombie diet. You could package it up, make an infomercial & You-Tube video and rake in the millions.

Love roasted cauliflower. We roast it and broccoli together.

I haven't tried roasting frozen cauliflower but have pan-roasted frozen brussels sprouts. Worked well (micro-cooked a few minutes first & cut in half, roasting cut side down).

PassivePastry said...

they totally look like lil' brains. yum!
I love knowing that you drew that. :)

texasdeb said...

Thanks, Kat! Hmmm, raking in the millions.....hmmmmm.

I adore roasted brussel sprouts, hadn't tried broccoli yet but that is the obvious next step. This summer, rather than trying to cook an egg on the sidewalk, maybe I'll try to roast some veggies instead!

PPastry, I love that you love that! And yeah, they do TOTALLY look like lil bitsy brains. Yum to the maximum!

Rock rose said...

Roasted cauliflower will be on the menu tomorrow evening with the probably not so good for you roast lamb. As it is New Zealand I hope it is grass fed. Thanks for the suggestion.

texasdeb said...

LR: Glad to have you drop in! Roasted cauliflower with lamb sounds wonderfully good - especially from where I sit today in Chicago, looking out at snow accumulated from yesterday's storminess. Spring, my left haunch!

Can't wait to get back home and check on my baby tomato plants.