from one generation to the next
Meat and three veg was the norm for dinner when I was a kid, meat cooked well done and vegetables boiled for half an hour. Potatoes and carrots could withstand that treatment, they kept their structure and a modicum of flavour but cruciferous vegetables, especially cauliflower and brussels sprouts developed a pungeant odour and a repugnant taste. I refused point blank to eat them and left the table forgoing dessert.
Twenty years later fading memory gave me the courage to taste these vegetables again. An Italian friend served me cauliflower fritters and I was hooked at first bite. I now love it raw, lightly steamed and made into soup.
Food trends have changed and now multicultural influences impact on the way we cook and eat. Roasting has become the darling of the cauliflower recipe repertoire. I recently roasted mini cauliflowers coated in spice and served them beside Moroccan lamb which in a roundabout way brought me to oven baked cauliflower with red miso. I now love cauliflower roasted too!
Cauliflower’s mild nutty sweetness is happy to sit in the background of the assertive umami laden flavour of red miso which makes an extra good partnership.
Miso Roasted Cauliflower
1 small cauliflower
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
freshly ground black pepper
2 spring onions, sliced
3 tablespoons red miso paste
1 tablespoon castor sugar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sake
Preheat the oven to 180C fan forced. Line an ovenproof tray with baking paper.
Break the cauliflower into large florets, then in a bowl, toss through the oils, salt pepper and chilli.
Arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on the paper lined tray and roast for 10 minutes.
While the cauliflower is in the oven, mix together the miso dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven, return it to the bowl, toss through the miso dressing to coat then again, spread the cauliflower in a single layer on the paper lined tray.
Roast for another 10 minutes or until the miso begins to caramelise.
Arrange on a serving plate and scatter with spring onions.
Loosely adapted from Adam Liaw’s Miso Roasted Eggplant from Asian After Work