I will be the first to admit that I was an incredibly picky eater growing up. The only vegetables I would eat without complaint were carrots and iceberg lettuce (and potatoes if you count those).
Most of the vegetables we ate were frozen or canned, but considering two picky kids and busy schedules, it’s no wonder my parents didn’t insist on us trying more variety and went with the tried and true.
With my own kids, I’ve tried to foster an appreciation of, if not love for, a wide range of vegetables. The little one loves to chew on broccoli, while the big one will ask for peas along with dinner. But while they enjoy those veggies, there are always a few that need a little more coaxing.
I didn’t enjoy cauliflower until I was about 30 years old. I know. But before that time, I had only had it raw or boiled, that latter of which is the least exciting way to possibly prepare a vegetable.
But roasting? Roasting can transform any vegetable into an amazing thing that you just cannot possibly get into your mouth fast enough. Plus, there’s so many different layers of flavor you can add to a basic roast, that you don’t need to worry about getting tired of it.
We also love dipping things in our family, so I threw together a garlicy aioli to go along with this cauliflower. It helps balance the spices and makes it a bit easier to eat for the pickier ones in the family.
I used Chinese five spice for the cauliflower (it went wonderfully alongside the short ribs we ate it with) but feel free to experiment. I’ve found that a little goes a long way when it comes to adding ground spices, so take care to not go overboard!
|Spiced Roasted Cauliflower with Garlicky Aioli|| |
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Cracked pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Cut cauliflower into small pieces.
- In a large bowl, mix together cauliflower and olive oil until coated, then stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and Chinese five spice to coat.
- Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are browned and caramelized.
- Meanwhile, whisk together mayonnaise, minced garlic, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cracked pepper. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve sauce alongside cauliflower.
What veggies did you dislike as a child, but now love?