Target Health Blog

Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower Appetizer or Side Dish

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This is one of the most delicious appetizers I have made. Simple, easy, quick but ohhhh so tasty. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
These pieces were fried. Can you tell the difference between the fried and the baked? The baked cauliflower is slightly lower in calories; however, the fried (with that touch of olive oil) is slightly more flavorful. On the other hand, if you decide to make the sauce, either baked or fried is very delicious. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Each piece has about two bites in it. Take a look at the soft center of cauliflower, surrounded by the crunchy flavorful outer crust. These are so-o good, you'll be tempted to make a whole meal of them, and with chilled wine, you'll be in heaven. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
If you make a ton of cauliflower appetizers, and add crudit?s with olives and the sauce, your evening with guests, will have gotten off to a good start. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Can you tell that these pieces were baked? ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

Ingredients

1 cup chickpea flour or almond flour or any flour available

1/2 cup (approximately) best extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves ground with 3 anchovy fillets

3 more garlic cloves minced

1 cup Panko

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon curry

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 pinches chili flakes

Big pinch black pepper

1 large cauliflower head

Because we're all in locked-down Covid-19 mode, I'm only doing recipes that have easy to obtain ingredients. I hope you'll try this recipe. I promise, you won't be disappointed. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

Directions

1.     Preheat oven to 375 to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Oil it, then set aside.

2.     Remove all leaves from cauliflower head. Cut cauliflower into florets, all roughly the same size. You can slice the large florets in half, if needed.

3.     Grind the garlic and anchovies into a paste.  Use mortar & pestle or mash with a fork.

Grind anchovy fillets together with fresh garlic cloves in a mortar & pestle. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
If you don't have a mortar & pestle, mash the garlic and anchovies with a fork. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

4.     Take out 3 bowls and put flour in one, eggs in the other and Panko or breadcrumbs in the third bowl.  Put all the spices in the flour bowl and mix well.  Whisk the garlic/anchovy paste into the eggs and add the minced garlic to the eggs.  Be sure to combine all ingredients in the egg mixture very well.  Into the Panko add all the freshly grated parmesan and combine well.

Wash the cauliflower, then break into florets, as you see above. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Put the flour with spices into one bowl. Put the Panko or other bread crumbs in another bowl. Put the whisked eggs plus anchovy/garlic paste, into another bowl. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Bowl # 1 - Dipping into almond flour. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC


5.     Dip each cauliflower piece into flour first.  Be sure to cover each piece with the flour.

Bowl # 2 - Dipping into egg mixture

6. Second step: dip all cauliflower pieces into the egg mixture.  Be sure to cover each piece with this mixture.

Bowl #3 - Dipping into Panko or break crumbs

7. Finally, roll each cauliflower piece into the Panko bowl.   Be sure to cover each piece, very well, with the Panko/Parmesan mixture.

After dipping into the three bowls, place the cauliflower pieces on oiled parchment, on a baking sheet. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

8.     After covering each piece of cauliflower with the Panko/Parmesan mixture, place on the oiled parchment.

9.     Place each breaded piece on prepared baking sheet. Roast cauliflower for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the Panko is golden brown.

10. To fry, melt about 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter plus using a garlic press, add 1 or 2 fresh garlic cloves to the butter mixture, stir then add your cauliflower pieces. Cook around 2 or 3 minutes per side, using tongs to turn each piece and check on a golden brown color, which indicates a piece is done and ready to drain on paper towel. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

Draining the cauliflower pieces after cooking. ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC
Crunchy on the outside, soft and flavorful on the inside.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

Sauce recipe

Easy sauce to make; just add all ingredients to a small to medium bowl and stir well to combine.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

This quick and easy sauce will go with the cauliflower appetizer, as well as raw veggies.  ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

Ingredients

1 cup Kraft mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon dried chives

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

Pinch salt or mash up 1 anchovy fillet

*Note: for thinner sauce slowly add almond milk or soy milk, etc.

Directions

In large bowl, whisk together, well, all the ingredients. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes, before you serve.

Back to our old favorite, icy Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuisse, with all the appetizers we ate this weekend. This lovely wine went well with the cauliflower appetizers, assorted cheeses and red grapes.   ©Joyce Hays, Target Health LLC

We play Scrabble each weekend along with an opera from our digital library. This weekend we watched Norma by Vincente Bellini. Back when we went to the MetOpera, we saw Norma, then had dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant, where the Captain, a true Italian, knew us well. When he heard that we were just coming from Norma, he would serve us Bellinis. Those were the days, my friends. Sad to say, they may never come back.

One of opera's great soprano arias is, of course, Casta Diva. After listening to most of the greatest sopranos' versions of this gorgeous piece of music (including Sutherland, Callas and Caballe), I want to share with you my own personal choice, which is Renee Fleming. Listen, in particular to the ending - beautifully controlled pianissimo, with fluttering trill. Each time I hear this, I am overwhelmed by ethereal beauty, beyond description.

One phrase from Casta Diva, song to the moon goddess: “Let thy peace which reigns in heaven, enfold the earth“  Can't think of a better sentiment, a better wish, for our whole planet, at this particular time.

CASTA DIVA - RENEE FLEMING

From the opera 'Norma', by Vincenzo Bellini.

Bon Appetit!

From Our Table to Yours

Have a Great Week Everyone!

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