When friends and family ask me what I’ve been up to lately, my response is typically “Chopping vegetables.” Though I love my improved health and reduced symptoms (and weight loss…25 pounds so far) from foregoing gluten, sugar, and dairy, I do admit that cooking almost every meal at home is seriously taking away my free time. My me time. So this weekend my hubby grilled a plethora of meats, and I cleaned and prepped an entire refrigerator full fruits and vegetables, in an effort to save time and have (almost-) ready-made meals on hand throughout the week.
Advanced planning aside, though, some nights I dread the clean-up more than the meal preparation itself. Last night was one of those nights. Since this is my first week following the autoimmune protocol, I didn’t want to skimp on yummy food just to avoid doing the dishes.
Browsing through my saved recipes on Pinterest, I re-discovered this roasted cauliflower recipe from Running with Tweezers. Dates? Olives? Rosemary? Yes, yes, and yes. With recipes like this, how could I miss tomatoes and peppers? But I wondered if I could
be lazy get creative and simplify the recipe. Remember, the fewer dishes, the better.
I plopped my bag of prepped (cleaned and chopped) cauliflower in a shallow pan and tossed it with olive oil. Right in the pan. While the cauliflower roasted, I combined more olive oil with chopped dates, fresh rosemary, and…wait for it…capers in a small bowl. I decided to swap the capers with the olives, because it saved some chopping time. And I love cauliflower with capers. Using olive oil in place of butter allowed me to eliminate the need to melt the butter in a separate pan.
After roasting the cauliflower until the edges began to crisp up a yummy golden-brown, I took it out of the oven and pushed it all toward the center of the pan. Then I dumped the date/caper mixture right on top of that roasted goodness. Yup, right in the pan AGAIN. A few quick tosses, and I popped it all back in the oven for another five minutes.
Then the cauliflower went straight from the pan to my plate. Above is what I’m calling the beauty shot. You could add salt and pepper to taste before plating, but I found the capers seasoned the dish enough to more than please my palate. And I’m avoiding pepper in this early phase of AIP.
This dish is definitely a do-over. One bite hits all the right flavor notes: sweetness from the dates, salt + sour from the capers, and a slight bitterness from the rosemary. And I especially love that I only had one pan, one bowl, and a silicone spatula to clean at the end of the night.
Roasted Cauliflower with Dates & Capers
Adapted from Running with Tweezers
1/2 head of cauliflower florets, cleaned and sliced to approximately 1/2″ thickness
4 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
10 pitted dates, roughly chopped
3 T. capers, drained
1 T. fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
sea salt and black pepper, to taste if desired
Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil with the dates, capers, and rosemary in a small bowl and set aside. Toss the sliced cauliflower florets with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven and roast the cauliflower for 25 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn a golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and push the cauliflower together into the center of the pan. Pour the date/caper mixture over the cauliflower and toss. Return the pan to the oven and roast the mixture for another 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 large portion servings (or 4 servings if you put some other vegetables on that plate).