While cooking, listen to this: Many the Miles - Sarah Bareilles
My entire family is either vegetarian or vegan; meat hasn’t made an appearance in my parents’ house since, like, maybe 2010. This makes mealtimes and restaurant choices extremely easy. Holiday menus that revolve almost exclusively around a giant bird that wasn’t lucky enough to receive a presidential pardon, though? Not so much.
“What does a meat-free family eat on Thanksgiving?” you might wonder. “Do you sit around a table and give thanks for lettuce leaves and carrot nibs?” you might shout into the void.
Well, I think one of those stuffed Tofurkeys made an appearance once or twice over the years, I think mostly for the um, fun of it? I don’t actually know if it tasted good because those things terrify me, but to each their own.
But mostly, it’s a lot of delicious vegetables and some vaguely carby things. It’s also mostly just a regular meal. My family has had Shabbat dinner every single Friday night for like, ever, so we’re used to having big meals all of the time. Thanksgiving is kind of just a time to be together and eat food we feel like eating at a normal dinner time.
(Side note: I will never understand why the thing to do is eat Thanksgiving dinner at like, 4 PM. Like I truly don’t get it. Why isn’t it Thanksgiving lunch? What do you do at 9 PM? Are you still full? Is that the point? I have so many questions.)
Anyway. keeping with our cauliflower obsession, the food I want to eat at Thanksgiving this year is an entire roasted head of cauliflower.
I mean, I wouldn’t eat the whole thing by myself. I’ve never done that before.
Nope. Never done that. That would be weird and I’m not weird.
We roasted an entire cauliflower and carved it up because I won’t carve a turkey but I like to participate in holiday traditions. This super easy method comes courtesy of Minimalist Baker - it takes just a few minutes to put everything together, and then you just throw it in the oven until it’s all brown and toasty.
Well, don’t throw it in there. Unless you have relatives coming who love to talk politics and ask you why you aren’t married yet. But maybe don’t take it out on the cauliflower?
This cauliflower can easily be a main dish with your favorite sauce for a lighter meal, or it can be a great side dish at a heftier meal. We covered our slices in tahina and pomegranate syrup because what else would we do, but totally up to you how you want to dress it up.
Happiest of cauliflower days to you all.
Love and meows, Rina
WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10m | Cook Time: 50m-1h | Total Time: 1h-1h 10m
Category: Main, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Thanksgiving
Source: method from Minimalist Baker
Special Equipment: cast-iron skillet (optional - you can use any oven-proof dish), pastry brush
1 large head cauliflower
3 Tablespoons olive oil (or sub your favorite)
3 Tablespoons water
1½ Tablespoons paprika
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons granulated sugar or maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for exterior
Prep: preheat the oven to 400F and place a small pan of water on the bottom of the oven. This will create steam and help the cauliflower to cook all the way through.
Make the marinade: combine the oil, water, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar/maple syrup and salt in a small bowl and whisk until combined.
Prep the cauliflower: turn the cauliflower upside down and cut away all of the leaves, leaving the core intact except for the dirty gross flat bit (you can cut that part away). Stick the cauliflower, still upside down, into a skillet or other oven-proof baking pan.
Baste the cauliflower: pour about ⅔ of the marinade over the upside-down cauliflower. Give it a good shake to get all of that goodness up in there. Turn it right side up and use a pastry brush to baste the exterior. Make sure to use up all of the marinade that collects at the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the whole exterior with some salt.
Roast the cauliflower: roast the cauliflower for about 50 minutes, checking every once in a while to see how it’s doing. We like softer cauliflower so we kept ours in the oven for about 1 hour. If your cauliflower is cooked through but you want to give it some extra browning, crank your oven to broil and roast for another 2-3 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.
To serve: slice this lovely specimen up like you would a turkey to create cauliflower steaks. Serve as the main course with your favorite sauce (we went with tahina ane pomegranate syrup as per usual), or as a side with some grains or whatever else you’re eating.
To keep: this can be kept in the fridge in a tightly-sealed container for up to 4 days. Just reheat before serving.