Cauliflower is the Superman of the vegetable family.
I mean really when you think about it, there’s no comparison. Is it faster than a speeding bullet? Obviously. More powerful than a locomotive? Pffft, no problem. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Ha, cauliflower’s got that shit in the bag.
It is the Queen of versatility, the master of disguises, and the chameleon in our midst. That bird and plane business, “amateur hour,” she says waving her hand dismissively. I don’t see Superman turning himself into a pizza crust one minute or mashed potatoes the next, and you can just forget about faux fried rice or breadless breadsticks.
While all those fancy pants methods of preparing cauliflower are surely fantastic, I want to keep things simple today and focus on the Clark Kent aspects of this cruciferous vegetable.
Subtle, yet alluring.
Simple, yet elegant.
Easy, yet dashing.
Modest, yet daring.
Here, cauliflower is the star of the show in all it’s uncomplicated glory.
There is something magical, yes in a superhero way, that happens to cauliflower when you roast it at high heat. Suddenly this bulbous vegetable transforms from daytime Clark to nighttime Clark in a fitted shirt with a five o’clock shadow. The tips caramelize, bringing out its sweet and nutty flavor. The florets lose their abrasive texture, becoming more malleable, while maintaining their strength. It goes from mild mannered to bold and beautiful in a matter of minutes.
The addition of chickpeas, toasted pine nuts, and avocado elevate this recipe from a simple side dish to a full meal. They add healthy fats and protein, not to mention varying degrees of texture from the silky smooth avocado to the crunchy, buttery pine nuts. The combination of flavors is akin a superhero employing all their powers at once. It’s unstoppable, which is why cauliflower is the Superman of the vegetable family.
- 1 small Cauliflower cut into florets, approximately 6 cups
- 4 Tbsps. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided into 2 Tbsps. and 2 Tbsps.
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Avocado, diced
- 1/8 cup Pine Nuts, toasted*
- 1/2 a 15 ounce can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 Green Onion, white and light green parts, diced
- 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp. Lemon Zest
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Cut cauliflower into florets. Toss with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread onto a rimmed cookie sheet, and roast in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through. The tips will be brown and crispy when it's done.
- While the cauliflower is roasting away, cut up your avocado, toast your pine nuts*, and drain and rinse your chickpeas. Add all of these to a medium sized bowl. When done, add the cooked cauliflower to this same bowl.
- Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice, and 1 tsp. lemon zest to the bowl and toss to coat everything. Top with green onions and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.
- *To toast pine nuts: cook in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until brown spots appear, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Serves 4 people as a side dish or two as an entrée.
What’s your favorite method of preparing cauliflower? Which vegetable do you consider to be the Superman of the produce community?