Last year, a few foodie friends raved about Adriana Valez’s Roast Cauliflower recipe. She used to write a food blog at “What I Made for Dinner.” These foodie friends loved her recipe so much; they eventually started reinterpreting the recipe with other spices, including a curry-spiced version. Remembering everyone’s twitter and facebook rave about her recipe last summer, one head of cauliflower was finally and recently brought on a whim.
My actual first introduction of cauliflower was when Mom steamed it with butter and herbs. We loved it so much, seldom were there leftovers. Most of the time when I see it today, it’s usually served raw with other vegetables on a platter. Let’s be honest, I’m not big fan of cauliflower’s raw and chalky taste.
The raw and chalky cauliflower mellows into a soft, sweet and nutty taste after roasting in the oven with olive oil, tons of sea salt and fresh black pepper. Reflecting to Valez’s recipe for roasting cauliflower, she’s unapologetic about not having precise measurements and directions. After all, it’s too simple of dish to make mistakes. I understand why all my foodie friends raved about her dish. It’s sweet and very fast to make. Perfect for a weekday meal.
To turn Valez’s side dish into a fulfilling dinner, couscous and shrimp were added to the roast cauliflower. Other wholegrains, such as millet or quinoa, are healthy substitutions for couscous. Roasting shrimp with the cauliflower instantly turns this dish into a hearty salad. To continue increasing the flavor, breadcrumbs mixed with almonds and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese were sprinkled on top for a savory, crunchy taste. Of course, adding arugula and fresh mint contributes a peppery and fresh contrast to the sweet, caramelize roast flavors of the cauliflower and shrimp.
The prepping to serving time of this Couscous with Roast Cauliflower and Shrimp is 40 minutes. Reading Valez’s inspiration for roast cauliflower, proves weekday meals and vegetables doesn’t always need to be a gooey gratin, raw and bland, or an unhealthy greasy takeout. Foodies know good food, but we don’t always want to be in the kitchen, especially after working long hours. It’s meals like these that keep us happy… and talking on twitter and facebook.
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