It’s only recently that I’ve started to really appreciate cauliflower for the awesome bit of veg that it is. For the longest time I found it boring, pedestrian, and totally underwhelming. I sniffed at it and thought, “this is for vegetarians.” One day I bought it on a whim ‘cause I thought maybe I’d pickle it and see what happens. I didn’t pickle it. It lay forgotten in the crisper where it eventually got those brown age spots and the leaves got slimy and I hung my head in shame as I threw it into the garbage.
I felt myself and the cauliflower needed some redemption. I bought more, roasted up some ‘steaks’ and had it as my work lunch with farro and balsamic and basil. And although I take serious issue with calling any vegetable a steak, no matter how you slice it, ‘twas a filling and delicious bowl that I happily munched on. We’ve been friends ever since.
This turmeric cauliflower has been my current go-to. Cauliflower loves spice and is a perfect canvas for bold flavors such as this golden hued mix. The rich avocado and the punch of herbs and citrus make such a nice well-rounded bite. Putting it all in a taco just made sense to me (bc tacos are usually the answer) but you could easily dump it all on a salad or grain of your choice. Either way it’s easy, quick, healthy, yay.
I have served this in mini-size for a vegetarian option at a party and carnivores gobbled it up too, go figure. But it does really shine as a multi-purpose weekday meal because you can have tacos one day and take leftovers with rice or greens to work for the next. For me at least it’s good to have a back-up plan for a large tray of cauliflower because is this something your big beef-eating husband will be overjoyed to see? If he’s anything like mine, no. Did I even try to feed it to him? No. But that’s OK because me and cauliflower are buds now and we don’t need anybody else.
Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower Tacos
- 1 Head Cauliflower chopped into evenish sized florets
- 2 small Shallots sliced thin
- 3 Garlic Cloves diced
- 2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 1 Lemon zested, (throw zest in with the other spices. Keep the body)
- 1/2 - 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- 3 TB Golden Raisins
- handful Cilantro
- the now naked Lemon
- 1 ripe Avocado
- 3 Scallions diced
- sqeeze of Lemon or Lime
- Salt and Pepper
For the Tacos:
- stack of 5-6" soft flour or corn Tortillas
- plain greek yogurt, hot sauce, extra raisins, dukkah, pepitas, red pepper flakes etc,
PREHEAT OVEN to 400*F, with a sturdy sheet pan in the upper middle rack.
In a bowl toss the cauliflower with all the spices and garlic. Make sure you salt it well.
Take the hot pan out of oven, drizzle a few generous glugs of olive oil so that the pan is well coated but not drenched. Let it settle for a moment as it hits the heat. Quickly throw your cauliflower on and give it a shake to even out. Top with the shallots and another swoosh of olive oil and salt and then unceremoniously chuck it back in the oven. NOTE:
The reason behind this is you preheated the pan, which helps to really caramelize the veg cause it got so nice and hot. Therefore working quickly is best so the pan doesn’t cool down too much. Choosing not to mix the shallots in and rather letting them rest on top with that last shot of olive oil gets them vvveerryy crispy and allows for extra browning so that you almost get the effect of fried shallots without all the work.
Set your TIMER for 15 minutes. Meanwhile prep the rest of your ingredients. Chop up the golden raisins and cilantro and mix together. The avocado mash is exactly what is sounds like: mash it up with a fork and add scallions and seasoning. Taste (but don’t eat it all, you avocado fiend). Put your yogurt into a pretty little bowl.
When the 15 minutes is up -- go check on the cauliflower. Using a spatula or large spoon give it all a good tumble making sure nothing is getting too burnt. Put the pan back in. Set the timer for 10 MINUTES.
Now’s the time to finish putting out plates or whatever else you need to do (open up a beer?).. In the last five minutes warm your tortillas up either by toasting them in a pan but honestly usually I am too lazy and I microwave them in a moist paper towel for thirty seconds. Plus I kinda prefer them soft. BUT you can’t say enough about a good char…so chose your side.
Take the cauliflower out of the oven, does it look and smell fragrant and done? I don’t recommend trying to eat a piece right away because you will burn your tongue and be mad at yourself. Instead, let it rest a few minutes. Get a nice big shallow bowl for the cauliflower to live in.
Add the leftover lemon, squeezing at least half, all if you like lots of citrusyness. Sprinkle the raisin mix over it all and place on the table with the tortillas and mash and other condiments.