Roasted cauliflower with lemon and smoked paprika

July 24, 2022 at 10:29 pm (Beans, Derek's faves, Monthly menu plan: dinner, Quick weeknight recipe, River Cottage) ()

Years ago a friend invited Derek and I over to her house for dinner, and everything she made was absolutely delicious. That doesn’t happen very often! It turns out that most of the recipes she made came from the cookbook River Cottage Veg from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (whew, that’s a mouthful). I recently I saw the cookbook on sale on Kindle and I snapped it up. Over the past few weeks I’ve tried three recipes. My favorite if the three was for a very simple vegan roasted cauliflower with lemon and smoked paprika. You basically toss a head of cauliflower florets with olive oil, 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (he says hot but I used mild), and the juice of 1 lemon. The cauliflower is roasted at 220 C for 25 to 30 minutes. You also cut a second lemon into slices and roast it with the cauliflower. I’m not exactly sure why. It wasn’t clear to me if that actually added any flavor. He says to squeeze the juice from the roasted lemon segments over the cauliflower, but (1) they were hot! and (2) when I tried no juice came out. I actually started this meal by making my mom’s recipe for roasted chickpeas. While they were roasted I cut up and seasoned the cauliflower then dumped it on top of the chickpeas in the oven. Everyone liked it. We had neighbors over for dinner and they enjoyed it as well. They brought over a beet risotto, which at first I thought would be an odd combination, but the two dishes actually went really well together. We roast cauliflower pretty often. Normally I use curry-ish spices (cumin, coriander, turmeric,…) but I think I might start alternating that spice mix with this lemon/paprika combo.

The other two recipes I’ve tried so far from the River Cottage Veg have had more mixed success:

I also tried a dish of roasted beets with walnuts and yogurt dressing. You’re supposed to roast baby beets in the oven with garlic, thyme, and bay leaves, but it was too hot to turn on the oven, and I had big beets. If baby beets take an hour to roast I was afraid of how long my big beets would take, so I just steamed them in the instant pot. The peeled beets are cut into pieces and then tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. You then toast walnuts and make a simple dressing out of yogurt, 2 Tbs. sour cream, garlic, salt and pepper. I always like beets with walnuts (and indeed we eat this combo often with beluga lentils and Annie’s dressing). I enjoyed the yogurt dressing as a change of pace, but Alma and Derek seemed less enthusiastic about it.

The last recipe we tried was a pretty simple recipe for garlicky minty mushy peas. You sauté shallots or onion in butter for 15 to 20 minutes until very soft, then add 3 or 4 garlic cloves. Cooked peas are then pureed with the shallots, garlic, chopped mint, and a bit of the pea cooking water. Our peas ended up extremely garlicky. Maybe Derek used 4 extremely large cloves of garlic? He loved the peas. He said they reminded him of escargot. Alma wasn’t a fan, and I found them a tad too garlicky.

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