Roast cauliflower tossed with lemon zest, Marcona almonds, and pomegranate arils looks elegant and tastes amazing, but it couldn’t be easier to make. (PS – don’t miss the great giveaway from BloomFresh below the recipe!)
There are only a few weeks of my culinary program left, and I’m in major catch-up mode. I managed to keep somewhat on top of the reading and quizzes, but I’m woefully behind on the practical exercises. This week, I’ve been tackling some of the earlier tasks that I skipped (I figured they were basic and wouldn’t take long… and they wouldn’t have if I had actually done then when I was supposed to instead of trying to cram a whole bunch of them into one afternoon). That meant a lot of chopping, blanching, and roasting, without an actual recipe as the end-goal.
Of course, I wasn’t going to let all of those vegetables go to waste just because I didn’t have a plan for them! By adding some lemon juice and marcona almonds to my cauliflower while it roasted and then tossing it with lemon zest, pomegranate arils, and parsley, I was able to transform my “practice” into an easy and delicious recipe. It’s delicious as a side (try it will grilled flank steak or a piece of fish) but it also makes a great main dish if you serve it over steamed couscous.
I really love the bright, juicy burst of flavor the the pomeranate arils add to this cauliflower. I’ve been working with BloomFresh to create some recipes with their new ready-to-eat pomegranate arils, so I’ve had a ton of them in my fridge. I’ve been adding them to practically everything, but this cauliflower is one of my favorites. The arils are hand-packed in convenient containers without any preservatives, additives, or residues, eliminating the need to mess with whole pomegranates (plus they include a spoon for easy snacking!) They take a ton of frustration out of eating pomegranate.
I used marcona almonds for this because I love their soft texture and slightly sweet flavor – in a recipe as simple as this one, they really make a big difference. If you can’t find them, feel free to substitute regular almond halves.
(I also have to share the best secret to perfect roast vegetables that I learned: don’t use too much oil. I’ll admit that I can be a lazy cook and frequently just throw my vegetables onto a baking sheet and drizzle oil over the top. That still tastes good, but the vegetables mostly end up steaming and don’t get those beautifully browned bits that goof roast vegetables should have. Instead, take the extra minute to mix everything up in a bowl, then use your hands to lift the vegetables out and onto the pan, leaving the extra oil in the bottom of the bowl. The vegetables will get a better coating of oil that way, but it will be lighter. That means the vegetables will lightly “fry” in the oil without all of that extra moisture steaming them, so they’ll brown a lot easier. Plus, you’ll be eating way less fat which is also a plus!)
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 cups)
- scant 1/4 cup almonds (preferably marcona) roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/3 cup BloomFresh pomegranate arils
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- salt and pepper
- Heat oven to 450ºF.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with almonds, oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake 20-30 minutes, or until tender and golden.
- Remove from the oven and toss with lemon zest, pomegranate arils, and parsley.
If you’re looking for more pomegranate goodness, be sure to check out Mother Thyme’s Pomegranate Blondies and Skinny Chef’s Quinoa Chicken Tenders with Pomegranate Pumpkin Seed Dipping Sauce.
I created this recipe for my client, BloomFresh, who is also generously providing the giveaway prizes. As always, thank you for supporting the brands that keep me inspired in the kitchen.