Every October, I do a dreary, boring thing. I decide that on the first cold day, I need a scarf and should be hustling to stay warm. Soon, the world will turn brown, gray, and frozen. This will last until April or even beyond. I’d better stock up on root vegetables and farro, and get into my igloo, because that will be all there is for a long time. It’s apparent that I am not having any fun, and I also seem to be a bit blind as I make this statement while stepping on wavy leaves, and the sky is still a brilliant blue, without ever having stepped into a farmers market. Why? They are as beautiful as ever, with tables piled high, everything from carrots and late summer squash to hearty greens and tiny pumpkins. Plenty of marble-sized potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and even small pumpkins exist. Now is the time to get it home.
Cheese Sandwich Blogs is a term coined in the early days of blogging to refer unkindly to blogs that were so boring that the authors even described what they had eaten for lunch. In theory, we discovered that no one cares about what you eat for lunch. But yet? It’s abysmal, but I will say it: Cold cereal twice this week. Last week, I ate a series of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on bread I bought for its long shelf life. Lattes are being passed off as breakfast. (It’s French, and it’s cosmopolitan. Right?) We’ve had pizza three times for dinner in the last three weeks. (This led to three lunches with cold leftover pizza the next day.) Even people who enjoy cooking eat poorly when working round the clock to meet deadlines. Or, ahem… have not met deadlines, but no one is counting. Today, I had this as lunch, and since then, the world has been so brighter.
The recipe comes from Melissa Clark’s new cookbook Cook This Now. She may be known for her blog or her New York Times Column. Or perhaps you’ve read her previous 32 cookbooks. She’s always busy. Maybe she can teach me how to finish books. She has put together a collection of some of her favorite recipes to make at home. (She has a daughter almost as cute as my little buddy .) I love it because it divides it by month. I was able to buy more cauliflower beauties at the market because of the October chapter. You roast it in olive oil with whole cumin, lots of salt, and black pepper until it smells so delicious that you want to reach into the oven and steal a bite. She suggested adding a few pinches to the yogurt. I, however, blended my yogurt with feta and cumin, which I love. It’s finished with pomegranate and mint seeds, and it was the most delicious dish I’ve eaten in the middle of the day since that one. Then, I had a baby burrito as an excuse not to eat proper meals. This time, the project is a monster, but it’s excellent that a humble vegetable like cauliflower saved the day both times.
Cumin seed roasted cauliflower with Yogurt Mint and Pomegranate
The flavor of this dish is incredible, and it only takes a few simple ingredients. If you don’t like cauliflower, this dish would be great with broccoli. If you don’t like cauliflower or broccoli, then you probably drove your mother crazy when you were a child. I meant to say that it would work well with other foods, such as potatoes or squash. It would be best if you tried it with cauliflower. You may find that you have eaten half of the dish even before you leave the kitchen.
Divide two tablespoons of olive oil between 1 large head of cauliflower (mine weighed about 1 3/4 pounds).
Cumin seeds, whole one tablespoon
Add additional salt to 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Black pepper, freshly ground: 1/2 teaspoon
Plain yogurt (I use whole milk yogurt in Greek style).
1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese (optional).
Mint leaves chopped fresh for serving.
Pomegranate seeds for serving
Preheat oven to 425degF. Brush one tablespoon of olive oil on a large roasting pan or baking sheet.
No need to cut them evenly. The smaller ones will get more blistery, and the larger ones will have more texture. They’ll be finely mixed. Spread florets on a tray and toss with cumin seeds and remaining olive oil. Roast the cauliflower for 20-30 minutes until it is soft and its edges are toasted.
Blend 3/4 cup yogurt and feta until smooth in a food processor. Sprinkle pomegranate and mint seeds on top of the cauliflower. If it’s this simple, you will be more inclined to make an effort at lunch.