When you’re looking to pack your meal with nutrition, one of the best choices in side dishes is cauliflower. Often overlooked in favor of green veggies, cauliflower is rich in vitamins and minerals such as niacin, vitamin K and folate. Ounce for ounce, cauliflower actually contains more vitamin C than a similar serving of oranges! This recipe for balsamic and parmesan roasted cauliflower, inspired byEating Well, is not only nutritious but delicious!
Cauliflower is also noted for its cancer-fighting properties, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. It’s low in calories (about 210 in a large head), gluten-free and low-carb, making it a favorite of those following ketogenic or South Beach diets.
Although cauliflower is best known and widely embraced as a low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes, it’s actually a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Roasting, as done in this recipe, produces a sweet, nutty flavor that balances nicely with that of the balsamic vinegar.
Of course, there are many balsamic vinegars on the market, too — from wood-aged made from grape must to the cheaper grocery-store kinds that are typically red-wine- or vinegar-based. Buy the best that you can afford — or buy a cheaper brand and reduce it with sugar in a saucepan to approximate the better ones.
Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of preparing a whole head of cauliflower. Just buy the largest head available so it’s easy to handle and cut. Use a sharp knife to divide the head, and slice off the small stems. It may take a bit of work, but it’s worth it.
Milder than broccoli, cauliflower is extremely compatible with other flavors in a recipe. In this one, for instance, the roasted cauliflower florets and balsamic vinegar create an earthy combination that’s as tasty as it is healthy. A sprinkle of finely shredded Parmesan cheese tops it all off for a savory treat that you’ll make again and again.
In large bowl, toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper.
Spread on large, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast until cauliflower begins to soften and brown on bottom, 15 to 20 minutes.
Toss cauliflower with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with cheese.
Return pan to oven and roast until cheese is melted and moisture has evaporated, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
To prepare florets from whole head of cauliflower, remove outer leaves. Slice off thick stem. With head upside down and holding knife at 45-degree angle, slice into smaller stems with circular motion — removing “plug” from center of head. Break or cut florets into desired size.