EasyPeasy / Sides/Sauces / Vegan

Roasted Cauliflower & Parsley Aioli

Roasted Cauliflower is a year-round staple in the Bleuberet Kitchen. Baked, roasted, or raw, Cauliflower is eaten in a wide variety of ways. On weeknight cooking, I take the French approach of simple is better. Why make weeknight dinners so complex that you don’t want to cook? Home all day or not, many of us are working or managing our children’s online schooling, yet the dinner crunch is still real. Roasting is a no-fret-forget about it way to make a vegan dinner or a side.

What Roasting is

Roasting is cooking in the oven at a very high heat. Foods seal on the outside quickly and the inside remains moist as a result of the intense heat. Think about roasted beets, potatoes, or carrots. They all have a little bite to the outer skin and the inside is tender or al dente depending on how done you like your vegetables. Roast a chicken to get that beautiful crunch to the skin and the meat is moist and soft. Roasting caramelizes the sugars in foods like carrots and beets, giving them an added natural sweetness (that flavor we are forever craving).

Summer, fall, winter, spring, we roast foods all the time. Depending on what type of flavor and/or exterior you desire, you choose whether the food is roasted with or without an oil coating, seasoned or not, covered or uncovered. Just don’t entirely forget it is in the oven, or you will be serving spaghetti and jarred sauce for dinner.

Aioli

Aioli is found in many cuisines, one of the most is of French Provençal origin. Using an olive oil base, garlic is pressed ground with a mortar and pestle into a paste and blended with the oil. In other renditions it is made with a mayonnaise base (DIY or Hellman’s). Aioli can easily be added to individual servings or to the entire dish as a garnish. I like to serve it on the table for everyone to add their own, and tend to use the mayonnaise based version.

Herbs and additional seasonings can easily be added. If you are lookin for a little more flavor to enhance a stew or soup, Aioli gives a burst of gusto to your meal. Soups such as Saveur’s Bourride (recipe for a DIY aioli recipe included) would be lost without it. Need a spread? Add fresh cranberry sauce to an aioli for a cheddar and turkey wrap, or make a pesto flavored aioli for an update on the grilled cheese front.

Learn more about roasting

Suggested reading: Roasting by Barbara Kafka – she was the guru back in the day. Like many of the great cooking Doyennes, she passed away a couple of years ago. The cooking knowledge she gave us is timeless. As a reference this is a gold standard to have on the kitchen book shelf.

Additional Recipes:

Roast Chicken by Barbara Kafka from Food52
Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Ina Garten from Food Network
Roasted Salmon with Butter by Mark Bittman from MarkBittman.com

Roasted Cauliflower & Parsley Aioli

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, stems removed, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 4oz/120ml mayo
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

1

Preheat oven to 450°F/230°C

2

Clean the cauliflower and remove the stem and leaves.

3

Place the entire head on a baking dish or baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4

Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

5

While the cauliflower is in the oven, make the aioli.

6

Clean and chop the parsley. Remove the stems and save for seasoning or a bouquet Garni.

7

Peel, remove the stem ends, and mash the garlic cloves.

8

Blend the parsley, garlic and mayonnaise together. Season with salt and pepper.

9

Cut cauliflower into large pieces and arrange on serving dish.

10

Serve either from platter or on individual plates with a dollop of Parsley Aioli.

Notes

If desired, drizzle olive oil over the cauliflower pieces before roasting, but it is not necessary.

1 Comment

  • joest
    December 28, 2020 at 7:49 pm

    great recipe, thank you for it. never roasted cauliflower before …
    my cauliflower needed however 1 hour (still pretty al dente after this long time, but i do like al dente) & super tasty

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