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


  1. What a tasty and different way to cook cauliflower! It looks lovely too

  2. Please don't discard your cauliflower core. Wrap it up with your broccoli stems and cabbage cores and mail them to me lease. They braise up as sweet and tender as any fennel bulb or endive spear.

  3. A beautiful dish! I am very fond of cauliflower.

    Have a great week ahead!



  4. Love the photos and the recipe. Cauliflower has always been on the "like" column for me though my mother never roasted it, which is something I like to do. Now I want to try it the way you make it. Coincidentally, we had cauliflower salad last night, a new version which may end up on the blog soon. Have a great week!

  5. I was traumatized by many vegetables as a child and the way they were boiled and served. It has taken me a long time to one over to the dark side. I know I would enjoy cauliflower baked this way.

  6. That is some gorgeous cauliflower!!

  7. I am not a huge fan of cauliflower, but cooked this way has got me drooling. Yum.

    Also wanted to let you know that i have received both books from my win in MLLA. thank you so much. I am looking forward to cooking from them and hope to write about them on my blog in the very near future. Thank you once again.

  8. This cauliflower looks so tempting :)

  9. I am a huze fan of cauliflower... your pictures are awesome...very beautiful :)