Adventures in the CSA! Cauliflower

I know I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to write about the magic of roasted cauliflower.  Why? Because it is the SHIT, man.  I could eat a whole head of roasted cauliflower and make myself ill (knowledge born from experience, my friends)--it's crunchy and savory and so so much better than any other form of cooking the veg.

My CSA delivered a great looking cauliflower head, with tinges of purple.  Not too big, thankfully saving myself from myself.

I snapped the leaves off the head, then sliced the florets off the stalk.  Then I sliced the florets themselves into thin-ish slices/crumbly pieces, dumped all of that onto a sheet pan, and doused with a hearty douse of olive oil.  Normally, I would have peeled a few cloves of garlic, left them whole and dropped them in there too. Several BIG sprinkles of kosher salt later and a good toss later, voila:

purply cauliflower about to be delicious purply cauliflower

You want the veg in a single layer, for the most part. Technically, the picture above is a bit crowded, but the cauliflower shrinks substantially as it roasts so I wasn't too worried.  If you get the pan too crowded, or the veg not in a single layer, everything will steam and not brown the way you want it too.  Which is a bummer to say the least.  

Pop it into a 450 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or so, stirring things up every 10 to 15 minutes, or until you get this:

mmm, roasty. (also, see what I mean about shrinkage?)

See that brown? The color on the cauliflower? That's the minimum of what you want.  Honestly, I could leave that pan in the oven for another 5 minutes or so and still be just fine.  (DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO--need I remind you of the clafoutis?)

If after 30-35 minutes your cauliflower is only slightly golden brown, give it another stir, and LEAVE IT IN THE OVEN.  Roasted vegetables aren't just "cooked through" to be edible, they're browned and nutty and delicious when they're dark brown (but not burnt!). Also, don't forget the salt.  It's not just flavor, it helps draw the moisture out of the veg, which evaporates in the hot oven and speeds up the caramelization and browning.  Plus it's salt.

It is SO GOOD, you guys. SO GOOD.  I ate about half of it before I finished up the rest of the dish (caramelized onions--in the background there--sauteed zucchini noodles, goat cheese, roasted cauliflower, and butter).

Also, this is a default cooking method for veg for me, and has been for years.  Carrots are CRACK cooked like this. CRACK.