Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cleo Coyle’s Twilight Cauliflower

 Did I hear you ask…..who in the world is Cleo Coyle? Cleo Coyle is a writer of culinary mysteries. If you aren’t familiar with them, culinary mysteries are really pretty cool. They are mysteries whose main character is in some way, involved with food, caterers, bakers, etc.,......and most of these books also have several recipes included. I’ve been a mystery lover ever since I picked up my first Nancy Drew book at the ripe old age of about nine. I even wanted to be Nancy Drew, sports car and all…..I think a lot of us who were fans wanted to be her. Anyway, I read a lot of culinary mysteries, I get to mix my love of mysteries with my love of food/cooking. It’s amazing how many culinary mysteries are out there and Cleo Coyle’s, Coffeehouse Mysteries series, is one of my favorites. Ms. Coyle’s main character, Clare Cosi, manages a family owned coffeehouse in New York City and blends coffee, food and murder in each book. Cleo Coyle has her own site, Coffeehouse Mystery and also contributes to the Mystery Lover’s Kitchen site. This recipe for Twilight Cauliflower is posted on both.

Now I’m not a cauliflower fan, I think I’ve mentioned that before,…I’ve tried it several ways but have only really been able to choke it down raw and with a lot of veggie dip. One day while reading my favorite blogs, I came across Cleo Coyle’s recipe for Twilight Cauliflower. I was intrigued….I love garlic and know that roasting vegetables gives them a slightly different taste and texture and this recipe did sound good so decided…..why not.

Twilight Cauliflower - Cleo Coyle
20-Clove Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
Print Recipe
1 average head of cauliflower (about 25 florets)
20 whole cloves of garlic (about 2 heads)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon water
Salt to taste

Total Cooking times:
Garlic roasting time - 30-35 minutes
Cauliflower roasting time - about 1 hour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small baking dish, place 20 whole garlic cloves (with skins removed). Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a splash of water (about 1/2 teaspoon). Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake about 30-35 minutes. Note: garlic should be cooked soft enough to easily smash with a fork.

Oil will be bubbling hot when you remove the foil. Allow the dish to cool a bit then use a fork to mash the garlic into the warm oil, making a thick slurry.

When the slurry has cooled enough to handle, place clean, dry cauliflower florets into a large bowl. (Keep the number of florets to around 25 for the best flavor results.) Pour the slurry over the top of the cauliflower and use your hands to coat the slurry over all of the florets.
Turn up the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a large baking dish or roasting pan by coating the bottom and sides with olive oil or lining with aluminum foil. (During roasting, pieces of garlic will bake onto your pan or dish, and this step will help with the cleanup.) Now transfer the slurry-coated cauliflower into the pan and pour any remaining slurry over the top.

Using aluminum foil, tightly cover the baking dish or roasting pan. This will create steam within the dish, which will soften and relax this cruciferous vegetable as it cooks.

Bake for 30 minutes and then remove the foil. Stir the florets and continue roasting (uncovered) for another 30-35 minutes, until fork tender and nicely carmelized. Remove from oven and salt to taste. (I added salt and pepper before returning pan to the oven and then didn't salt later.)

I loved the fragrance that wafted through the apartment while the garlic was roasting. When I took the cauliflower out of the oven, it looked wonderful… a nice, caramelized color. Then, I tasted it……delicious! I finally found a way that I can truly eat and enjoy cauliflower.

I served this with grilled beef brats on toasted New England style rolls and Garlic-Herb Mac and Cheese. As Michael and I were putting away leftovers and cleaning up the kitchen, he asked what I had planned for the leftover cauliflower. I said nothing really; just reheat it for another meal. He decided that he would like to just finish it off, now….and that he did. He said it even tasted great cold. Looks like this recipe meets with his approval as well.


Pamela said...

Have you ever made anything that didnt meet his approval. Andy didnt like my Crab mac and cheese. He loves both but just didnt care for them together in one dish!

Unknown said...

I love cauliflower! and nope I've never heard of Cleo but I grew up loving Nancy Drew....I even have a Nancy Drew cookbook! LOL
This dish sounds wonderful. With all the garlic, how could it not be? I can't wait to try it

Cookiebaker said...

Pam - Yes, I have made a couple of dishes that Michael didn't like. He didn't actually come out and say he didn't like them but I could tell he didn't mostly by what he didn't say (never mentioned them again) or he called one hamburger helper...which meant he really didn't like it.

Danielle - This really is good and, as I said, I don't care for cauliflower. I didn't know there was a Nancy Drew cookbook. I'm going to have to try to find that one.

Tangos Treasures said...

Yumm sounds good!!
My DH is not a garlic lover:(

Cookiebaker said...

Tango - has he had roasted garlic? The flavor is a lot milder.

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