Roasted cauliflower with garlicky breadcrumbs and parmesan

This has to be one of the most delicious ways to eat cauliflower. Soft, buttery cauliflower with the crunch of garlicky breadcrumbs and complex saltiness of parmagiano-reggiano. I have eaten a whole bowl of this for dinner and nothing else. Okay, I may have succumbed to ice-cream later….

I have seen this recipe in several cookbooks and on multiple sites, and have adapted quantities to my liking. Use coarse breadcrumbs, or if you are like me, and can never get through a ciabatta without half of it going rock hard, whiz it in a food processor and make some (expensive) breadcrumbs.

I like to use yellow or purple cauliflower (just note that lemon juice discolours purple cauliflower) to keep things interesting; they are available at most greengrocers these days. You could use a combination of different coloured caulis, or even broccoflower for a change.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (serves 6 as a side dish):
½ large yellow cauliflower
salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
¾ cup coarse breadcrumbs
olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan (I like parmagiano-reggiano)
a handful of flat-leaf parsley, finey chopped
half a lemon

Put a large saucepan of water to boil, and salt the water generously. Turn on the oven to 180°C. Cut the cauliflower into small florets. Add to water and boil for around 5 minutes until just tender.

While the cauliflower is cooking, place a skillet over medium flame. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then with the flame at low, sauté the garlic for 1 minute. Add in the breadcrumbs and fry until fragrant and crispy. Add more oil if required.

Drain the cauliflower, and turn into a oven proof dish. Toss with the breadcrumbs and roast in hot oven for 20 minutes until the florets are lightly charred.

Remove from oven, squeeze some lemon juice and toss with grated parmesan and chopped parsley. Serve hot.

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