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purple cauliflower

Purple Cauliflower

This week’s dinner solution is focusing on what, in my house at least, is usually an afterthought – the side dish. I stock up on frozen veggies over the weekend and then just steam whatever seems to go with what we’re having for dinner. If I’m feeling really fancy I might make glazed carrots or add a little fresh herbs to the peas. It’s not that I don’t like interesting side dishes but after coming up with a week’s worth of main dishes who has the time or energy to devote to jazzing up broccoli?

Just in time for Halloween, the veggie of honor this week is purple cauliflower. You may have seen this uniquely colored veggie at your grocery store or farmer’s market. But what do you do with it?

First of all, do not try to make cauliflower with cheese sauce with that purple cauliflower. The cheese sauce will turn a ghastly gray-purple color and no one will eat it. Trust me, I’ve tried this. If you serve it raw, however, it looks quite stunning. When put on a crudite tray (perfect to bring to your next Ravens game), those little violet florets look gorgeous next to baby carrots and grape tomatoes. The trouble starts when you try to cook the cauliflower with other ingredients and everything takes on a bizarre shade. My daughter, whose favorite color is purple, decided that we needed a purple cauliflower and so I was left with the dilemma of what to do to it. I decided to roast it in the oven with olive oil and sea salt, just like I do with potatoes.

The roasted cauliflower was delicious, retained a gorgeous dark purple color and was ready in 20 minutes. So much better than frozen vegetables. Right now it is cauliflower season and they do keep well in the fridge. This recipe will also work with regular white cauliflower. Even if you don’t care for boiled cauliflower, give this a try – the flavor is slightly sweet and my entire family enjoyed the change of pace. And is there a spookier veggie than purple cauliflower?!

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