Let me first address the elephant in the room. And the donkey. My views on this election are stronger than ever before, and while I don’t care to discuss them on this website, or anywhere on the internet, or anywhere in real life for that matter, I do want to take a moment to be “that girl” who gets up on a soap box for a minute and tells you what you probably already know:
You need to vote today.
You might hate the candidates, you might hate politics in general🙋, but you need to vote anyway. Besides the obvious reason of “because you can,” here are two other important reasons why you need to vote today:
- Fact: Either the Elephant or the
assDonkey will win this election, and that person will appoint at least one and up to four new Supreme Court Justices. This is is a big deal. Presidents get a four year term, but justices are in for life. They have the power to make major decisions about things that actually affect us on a day to day basis. Think about it.
- If you absolutely can’t vote for either of the frontrunners, don’t skip out on voting altogether, but rather vote for a third party candidate. They have no chance of winning, but if a third party candidate can reach the critical threshold of 5% of the popular vote, they will qualify for public campaign funding assistance in the next election, which is a huge step in getting a third party system to be taken seriously in our country. We shouldn’t have to choose between true or false. We deserve the options of A. B. and C.
If you’re one of those crazy people who claims to not like cauliflower, perhaps this could be the recipe that changes your mind. Or, maybe – just, maybe – even your life. It’s sweet, salty, tangy, savory, crunchy, juicy, and creamy all in one bite, making for the ultimate side dish. And just like this recipe, if you add in a salad or a few other sides, it could easily be an awesome vegetarian main.
Cauliflower, along with her cruciferous friends kale and brussels sprouts, has been having a moment these past few years. This once despised veggie has become quite fashionable as of late. Like choker necklaces and high waisted jeans. You just need to know how to do it right. Cooking cauliflower, I mean. I’m still trying to figure out high waisted jeans.
I actually hated cauliflower as a kid, but it’s one of my all time favorite vegetables today. My mom usually made plain, frozen cauliflower steamed in the microwave – maybe with a pat of butter, at most. It was mushy, bland and smelled like farts. I never thought I’d write that word on a food blog, but honestly, I couldn’t come up with a better descriptor. “Sulfuric” sounds much too academic.
Cauliflower, in my opinion, is best when roasted. It gets tender and sweet in the middle, while being crispy and caramelized on the outside. This is actually true for most veggies. And while I enjoy roasted cauliflower on it’s own, it’s always better when gussied up with some of my favorite accessories: almonds, breadcrumbs, garlic and capers.
Also, raisins. Not exactly one of my favorite ingredients, but one that works so perfectly in this dish. I prefer golden raisins over the darker variety, but that’s mostly for their appearance. Either type will work just fine. They get simmered in white wine to absorb lots of that tangy flavor, transforming them from dry, chewy pests into plump, juicy delicacies. They provide the perfect sweet foil for the other salty ingredients, like the capers. Don’t skip them, even if you’re a raisin hater like most of the people in my family. Just give them a shot – it might just surprise you. If I could convert Chaser, you can be converted, too. I’m still working on Uncle Joe, however. He’s a tough one, but we’ll get there.
This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, paleo, straight-up-vegan and all of the things the cool kids seem to be into these days. If you’re looking for a Thanksgiving side that will please everyone at the table, look no further. (Except Uncle Joe but he can pick out the raisins). It’s a keeper, that’s for damn sure.
Anyway, try this recipe. But also, vote. I’m off to go do just that.
Catch ya on the flip side.
- 1 head cauliflower, trimmed of leaves and sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons whole almonds
- 3 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup panko or fresh bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread out onto a parchment lined sheet pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is browned on the outside and just barely tender inside.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the toppings. Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and fry, stirring constantly, until they're golden brown throughout, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and once cool, chop into small pieces. In the same skillet, add the garlic and fry, stirring constantly, until golden and crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
- Pour out all but 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, then add the breadcrumbs to the skillet. Cook, while stirring constantly, until they're golden brown and crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the golden raisins and white wine. Simmer until the raisins have absorbed most of the liquid, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- When the cauliflower has finished roasting, transfer to a serving plate. Squeeze fresh lemon juice all over, then top with lemon zest, chopped almonds, garlic chips, toasted breadcrumbs, raisins, capers and parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature.