Just so you know, I’m about a third of my way through a 12 hour wait at Newark airport. The guy next to me is on his third bloody mary and it’s not even 11am (nor are we at brunch). He looks like he could use a blog like this in his life. He also managed to squeeze lime juice all over me which was cool. Thanks for the Newark times United. Anyways, filling the time with a little blogging. Hope you enjoy this BBQ baked cauliflower as much as I do!
And before you say a word, I know it looks like a brain. Let’s just leave it at that.
You’re going to thank me for this though, because it’s absolutely delicious. This recipe is inspired by a dish I had a local restaurant a few weeks ago that I enjoyed so much I had to try and recreate it, and it came out pretty close!
Cauliflower, or chou-fleur if you’re French, has an ridiculous number of phytonutritents that give antioxidant support to help protect your cells against free radical damage (think cancer and signs of ageing, both equally uncool). Beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercitin, rutin, and kaempferol, are just a few of the antioxidants in cauliflower that make it such a super antioxidant. It’s also high in vitamin K, a direct regulator of the inflammatory response, which helps reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic disease (especially heart disease). No biggy.
But really, the BBQ sauce is the best part about this bowl. Here I smothered it all over the cauliflower, marinaded it over night, and then baked it like a cake. Doesn’t even really matter what veggies you have with it. I’ve been eating it all week over a baked sweet potato. So good. I also imagine it would significantly improve upon the cassic broccoli/brown rice combo. I sweetened the sauce with dates and figs, and used canned whole tomatoes instead of the ketchup most recipes tell you to use (am I the only person who finds this weird?). So saucy. Try it.
Here I paired my chou-fleur (sorry, it’s just so fun to say) with some steamed kale, cremini mushrooms, micro-greens, and polenta. Should have added avocado, probably the only thing in the world that could make this dish better.
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1t of each of the following: cumin, cinnamon, ginger, Spanish paprika, and salt
- 1/2t pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6oz (170g) can tomato paste
- 15oz (430g) can tomato sauce
- 1/2t chipotle powder
- 10 dates, chopped
- 4 dried figs, chopped
- 2c water
- 2T tamari
- 2T maple syrup
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 bunch purple kale
- 2 cups cooked polenta
- 8-10 Cremini mushrooms
- Micro-greens or sprouts
- Add enough water to your saucepan to just cover the bottom with water and no more. Bring water to a gentle simmer and add onion. Simmer onions for 7-10 minutes until translucent or lightly browned. Add splashes of water if necessary to prevent sticking.
- Add spices, salt, and pepper and cook for another 30 seconds, deglazing the pan with water if needed. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or 2 before adding tomatoes, dates, figs, water, and tamari.
- Cook mixture for 30 minutes until dates become soft. Allow sauce to cool before transferring to a blender and blending until smooth.
- Add a tablespoon or two of maple syrup if sauce isn't sweet enough.
- Trim away leaves and wash cauliflower. Using clean hands, run a generous amount of BBQ sauce on cauliflower. Turn cauliflower upside down and pour additional sauce into the cauliflower. Allow to marinade upturned, covered, and in the fridge for 1 hour up to overnight. The longer the better here.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Place the cauliflower right side up on a lined baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on how tender you want it.
- Slice baked cauliflower and serve with steamed kale, sautéed mushrooms, and polenta. Make sure to add plenty of extra BBQ sauce.
- You can freeze any extra BBQ sauce.
Serve some extra BBQ sauce on the side, you won’t regret it. Oh, and the avocado, don’t forget that either!
Worst part of this delay is that I’m rapidly running out of snacks: sweet potato gone, banana gone, berries demolished, Lara bar done for. Going to have to go airport foraging soon :-/ Keep your fingers crossed for me that I find something worth eating!
I have a really exciting set of posts lined up for next week (where you hear less from me, and more of someone much cooler than me!) if I ever make it to the UK!
Last thing, the winner of the WHOLE giveaway was employee of the year, Maritza! Congrats love, I’ll get your books in the post to you soon.