Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cauliflower Roasted in Mustard Oil and Seeds for Weekend Herb Blogging # 409

Mustard Oil and Seed-Roasted Cauliflower

When I was growing up, the vegetables from the brassica family were typically served in cold-clime months with an "R" in them, not unlike the rules of oyster consumption.  But instead of the shimmery and quivery delicate shellfish, we dined on sulfurous bruisers like cabbage, broccoli, and turnips. Cauliflower was also frequently on the menu, and always boiled before a heavy slathering of cheese sauce. Kids will eat anything drowning in cheese, and I was no exception.

These days, I like cheese no less, but enjoy enhancing, rather than hiding, star ingredients. While I can't admit that I prepare anything more robust a vegetable than cabbage as cole slaw during the warm weather, I do fire up the oven September through April, as one would throw another log in the hearth.

With its own sharp flavor, mustard is a great complement to the robust vegetables that are among the most healthy.  Although ground mustards with vinegar and salt are a given, don't overlook the coin-gold oil nor tiny, dark-brown seeds found in Indian grocers.  As chance would have it, mustard is also a member of the same plant family. It seems the brassica doesn't fall far from the branch.

Raw Cauliflower Curds in Mustard Oil

Cauliflower Roasted in Mustard Oil and Seeds - My own recipe

Serves 3-4 as a side dish or snack


1 large head fresh cauliflower, washed, leaves removed
1/3 cup mustard oil
2 tablespoons black mustard seeds
Freshly ground black pepper (Tellicherry is a vibrant variety of peppercorn.)


Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut tough stem end and core from cauliflower, and discard.  Break or cut the curds into smaller pieces (florets).  Pour mustard oil into very large bowl.  Add florets, mixing them thoroughly in the oil to cover them evenly.  

Spread florets on a large baking sheet, letting excess oil drip back into bowl. Reserve the oil.

Place baking sheet in middle of oven.  Roast for 20 minutes, then turn florets with tongs, and roast for another 20 minutes.  Pierce fork through stems.  They should yield easily to pressure without being mushy.  If not, roast for another 5 minutes. Turn off oven and remove backing sheet.

In a large wok or frying pan, preferably with non-stick finish, heat the reserved oil with the mustard seeds over medium heat.  Place splatter guard over wok or pan.  Watch and listen careful until seeds start to burst and sputter.  Add roasted florets and pan fry until browned and crusty, turning frequently with tongs.  Avert your face from tempering seeds; their trajectory is as fast as wide as buckshot. 

Remove florets to serving platter.  Generously cover with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Serve immediately while still hot. --

Mustard Oil and Seed-Roasted Cauliflower

This recipe is for Carla of Un'Arbenello di Basilico, guest hosting Weekend Herb Blogging # 409 for Haalo of Cook Almost AnythingBrii of Briig is Home is the administrator for WHB - The Italian Edition.  WHB was originally founded by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen