So remember that roasted cauliflower? You know, the healthy side dish that once actually grew in the ground? The eat-straight-from-the-pan lunch that wasn’t candy-coated or Funyuns?
This is what I did with the leftovers.
I took one of our favorite versions of carbonara, which replaces half of the pasta with plant things (this time leftover roasted cauliflower) and had an instant winner on my hands.
Honestly, there’s a little bit of bacon and there’s some Parmesan along with those glorious carbs… so anyone who declared that dish a “you don’t need to make this again” would probably be forwarding their mail at this point.
Roasted Cauliflower Carbonara
Roasted cauliflower replaces half of the pasta in this traditional carbonara.
It’s mid January. And you’re probably still eating your vegetables, right?
A couple of months ago, I shared a killer-addictive recipe for roasted cauliflower. Who uses “killer-addictive” to describe cauliflower?
Someone who puts browned butter, prosciutto, and sage on cauliflower. That’s who.
Cauliflower is in the market now and the heads are abundant, cheap and the size of your head. There’s nothing wrong with raw cauliflower, especially if there’s a jar of homemade ranch or a bowl of hummus nearby. But there’s no reason to stop there.
You can do far worse things to a head of cauliflower than roasting it broccoli-style with garlic- and red pepper-infused oil, until the florets caramelize and start to crisp. Say, something like this:
But more on that later. Because to make that, you’ll need some of this:
Cauliflower roasted in garlic- and red pepper-infused oil.
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
Red pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400.
In a small sauce pan, heat the olive oil until hot over medium heat.
Add the garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
Swirl the pan occasionally. In the last minute, add the black pepper and red pepper flakes and turn off the heat.
Pile the cauliflower into the center of a large baking pan and drizzle the garlic oil over top.
Toss with two large spoons until distributed and spread cauliflower to an even layer.
Sprinkle with salt and bake for 20-25 minutes, until nicely browned.
Let me tell you about the Thanksgiving Side Dish That Wasn’t.
No matter how many times you’ve hosted or cooked for 279 people at your house for a party or a holiday dinner, you aren’t immune from forgetting something. Realizing that the bag of ice you bought is now nothing more than a puddle underneath the shopping cart in the HEB parking lot is always my favorite.
Or the 2 boxes of cream cheese that slipped out of the bag and under the passenger seat when you had to slam on your brakes to avoid fusing your car with the car of a clueless driver because – SERIOUSLY, THE WET STUFF IS RAIN AND IT DOES SOMETIMES FALL FROM THE SKY IN TEXAS.
This year, that something was the cauliflower.
It was going to be slow-roasted in the oven until the bottoms caramelized and the very tips of the florets turned brown and crunchy. It was going to be tossed in a straight-from-heaven browned butter cooked with fresh sage – ’tis the Season, SAGE IN EVERYTHING! – and thin strips of prosciutto. It was going to be topped with some fresh grated Parmesan before passed around the table.
And every bite topped with those crispy bits of sage leaves and prosciutto was going to be met with oohs and aahs and mmms and rmgphrmnhgphs.
Instead, the cauliflower was left in the barren vegetable drawer in the fridge. Which worked out fabulously because when we got back from Thanksgiving #2 in northeast Texas, it was the only food left in the house.
The Thanksgiving Side Dish That Wasn’t turned into The More For Us Sunday Dinner.
Roasted Cauliflower with Sage Brown Butter & Prosciutto
Toss roasted, caramelized cauliflower with browned butter flavored with fresh sage and prosciutto for a quick but impressive veggie side dish.
2 heads cauliflower, cut into small florets
4 Tbsp butter
4 sage leaves, thinly sliced
4 slices prosciutto, thinly sliced
Grated Parmesan, for serving
Preheat oven to 400.
Lightly grease 2 large baking pans with olive oil and divide the cauliflower between pans, spreading out into a single layer (or just bake half at a time, if you're short a baking sheet).
Lightly brush or spray with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, until nicely browned.
In a small sauce pan, heat the butter over medium heat until it begins to brown.
Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan, add the sage leaves and prosciutto.
The mixture will bubble up - swirl, remove from heat, and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer the cauliflower to a large serving platter - or onto a single baking sheet - and drizzle with the sage butter. Toss to coat.
Season with additional salt and pepper and serve topped with grated parmesan.