The Joys Of Simple Roasting

I have a fairly eclectic pantry. In addition to the standards — olive oil, salt & pepper — I have bags and jars of spices and condiments from the wide world over. In my cabinet a container of sichuan peppercorns sits next to a bag of black mustard seeds. In my fridge a jar of Vietnamese chili & peanut paste keeps company with Indian ghee. Not to mention the myriad alternative pastas I have accrued. I enjoy using all of these, and more, and I’m happy to throw them all together in different combinations. And yet sometimes I crave the simpler things. And this time of year, especially considering the weather we’ve been having, I turn to my oven instead of my stovetop. Take, for instance, this small head of cauliflower. I trimmed the leaves and the bottom, and removed part of the core before drizzling it with olive oil and salt and pepper. Then I put it in the oven at 375 degrees until it was nicely browned. The outside was nicely crisp, the inside just beginning to get tender but not overcooked. I had originally intended to cut it into pieces to mix with something else, but as I tasted it I decided it didn’t need anything and just ate it as is. A week earlier I did the same with a large oyster mushroom — split in two, drizzled as above and roasted until it was nearly charred on the outside, it made an incredible main course. Sure, fancy international ingredients can add a lot to dishes, but you don’t need them to make great food. Sometimes, simpler is better.

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One Response to The Joys Of Simple Roasting

  1. Pingback: Roasted Mushrooms and Cauliflower Over Rice | brooklyn vegetarian

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