Twilight Cauliflower: Definitely Anti-Cancer, Possibly Anti-Vampire
by Cleo Coyle
Garlic and me go way back. This could be the reason why all the aloof, pale-skinned vampires took a pass on asking me to the prom.
This vampire indifference was for the best, I think, now that I’m married to a great, fully mortal guy who co-writes murder mysteries with me—the cozy kind with recipes for drinks and food (of the non-human variety).
Yes, I’d say, all things considered, garlic did right by me. According to recent studies, garlic will do right by you, too. Among its other health benefits, such as lowering cholesterol, garlic has been found to have anti-cancer properties, and it’s delicious when roasted and added to recipes, especially this veggie side dish—a handy note with Thanksgiving coming up.
When I first shared my Twilight Cauliflower recipe with readers, they flipped for it. One woman wrote to me that she made it for her boyfriend who dislikes cauliflower, but he ate every bite of this version and asked for more.
The reason is simple. Cauliflower is a neutral, blah tasting vegetable, but with the addition of the pungent yet sweetly roasted garlic, it becomes a tasty addition to any dinner plate. Leftovers of this dish in our house are rare, but if there are any, I enjoy them cold as a lunch salad.
So this weekend, with Breaking Dawn: Part 2 attracting vampires to midnight showings, you might want to join my husband and I in the kitchen. Pour a nice glass of wine, slice up some fresh Italian bread, and start roasting that garlic. Then you can eat with the joy of knowing you won’t need to fear twilight (or carry a wooden stake in your purse).
(20-Clove Roasted Garlic Cauliflower)
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1 average head of cauliflower (about 25 florets)
20 whole cloves of garlic (about 2 heads)
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon water
Salt to taste (at the end of cooking)
Total Cooking Times:
* Garlic roasting time: 30 to 35 minutes
* Cauliflower roasting time: about 1 hour
Video prep tip: Learn how to properly cut a cauliflower head into florets.
Step 1 – ROAST THE GARLIC: Preheat your oven to 350° 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 ½ 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.
Step 2 – MAKE THE GARLIC SLURRY: 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.
Step 3 – PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD: When the slurry has cooled enough to handle, place clean, dry cauliflower florets into a large bowl. (Keep the number of florets 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. Yes, you are now playing with your food (hmm…not unlike those nasty, human-eating vampires).
Step 4 – PREPARE PAN: Turn up the oven to 400° 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.) Transfer the slurry-coated cauliflower into the pan or dish and pour any remaining slurry over the top.
Step 5 – COVER: 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 veggie as it cooks.
Step 6 – ROAST IT, BABY: Total cook time will be 1 hour. After 30 minutes, remove the foil. Stir the florets and roast (uncovered) for another 30 to 35 minutes, until fork tender and nicely caramelized. Remove your freshly roasted Twilight Cauliflower from the oven. Salt to taste and eat with joy…
~ Cleo Coyle, author of The Coffeehouse Mysteries
CLEO COYLE is a pseudonym for Alice Alfonsi, writing with her husband, Marc Cerasini. Like their 11 COFFEEHOUSE MYSTERIES, their 5 HAUNTED BOOKSHOP MYSTERIES (written under the name Alice Kimberly) have been national bestsellers for Penguin. When not haunting coffeehouses or hunting ghosts, Alice and Marc are NY Times bestselling media tie-in writers who have penned properties for NBC, Lucasfilm, Fox, Imagine, MGM, and Disney. Their upcoming Coffeehouse Mystery release, HOLIDAY BUZZ, is a culinary mystery set in New York City during the magical Christmas season, and its appendix is packed with delectable cookie and holiday recipes. Their current release, A BREW TO A KILL, was a Mystery Guild Featured Alternate Selection, a B&N “must-read” mystery, and a top-7 Bookscan hardcover bestseller. Over 20 fun recipes are featured in . For a peek at the book’s recipe section, Click Here.
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