Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter

Brown Butter Cauliflower

The visible signs of the Colorado winter are gradually etching the landscape. The leaves with their red and gold hues are all but gone; not even to be found delicately, crunching underfoot.

The pleasantly sunny and temperate days, and the cool evenings of late paint a perfect fall picture. The Colorado fields; resting, rejuvenating and replenishing for the next season, relate a winter story, however.

The other day, while on my way to lunch with Ansh (from Spiceroots), I was stopped at a traffic light. As my thoughts meandered west, my eyes fell on a tree growing by the foot path. It stood tall and bare, symmetrical in its shape and the spread of its branches, and unashamedly proud of its naked glory. Through its graceful, bare branches I espied the Rockies, grand, majestic and beautifully snow capped, towering over Colorado.

The signs of winter are here, but autumn doesn’t want to relinquish hold. That’s fine by me, running errands in a sweater and jeans, instead of snow boots and woolly hats, is all right with me.

Brown Butter Cauliflower

The beauty of Colorado in winter is just as grand as the first springtime buds, flowering glory of summer, or the colour of autumn. The reds and golds may disappear but the evergreens dot our landscape, parks and neighbourhoods. The scenery may be bare but the fragrance of pine and fir is strong and heavy, and welcome as it permeates the frosty air. There is nothing more heady than the scent of pine mixed with the cold. I take deep breaths to inhale that fragrance when we hike through the mountains on a cold autumn day.

The smoky smells of a crackling, wood fire rising through the chimney, a bubbling stew on the stove and holiday baking are all smells of winter comforts.

The sounds of giggling children on skates and the surprisingly, soothing sound of metal slicing through ice, the holiday Muzak mumbling in the background, and that of friendship and family are all familiar, comforting winter sounds.

Colorado’s growing season may be over, and winter is rearing its frosty head, but we can still enjoy a little bit of autumn in the beautiful weather we are experiencing, in the abundance of squash, the seasonal cauliflower, which is quite vibrant and adds so much colour to the plate and the plentiful, root vegetables.

Brown Butter Cauliflower

This beautiful cauliflower I sliced into steaks and roasted, came from my faithful, local farm, Isabelle Farm. I made this a few weeks back and this head of cauliflower was as vibrant as any bouquet of flowers. In fact, when I purchased this, I carried it out from the farm stand as a bouquet, it was just too pretty to bag.

Beautiful and all, but how did it taste? Amazing, I think cauliflower is amazing, not only in its beauty but in its simplicity. It just needs to be roasted (or fried) and a sprinkle of salt, a squeeze of lemon, or maybe a drizzle of tahini is all it ever needs.

Here, the cauliflower steaks were roasted, and then a garlic, rosemary browned butter was liberally poured over. Oh my goodness.

Of course, you don’t need to cut them into steaks, you can use the florets or even roast a whole cauliflower. Just don’t forget the brown butter.

The Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter is a great side dish for roasted meats and your holiday table. It’s also a great dish for vegetarians tossed with some pasta and Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter

Rating 

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Serves: 4

Beautiful purple cauliflower roasted and drizzled with garlic rosemary brown butter.
Ingredients
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons/113g unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • 4 spears of rosemary
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C
  2. Cut the cauliflower into steaks about a ½ inch/1½ cm thick.
  3. The cauliflower might crumble if it's not firm, or the florets are not tight.
  4. Try and get as many steaks as you can.
  5. Roast the ones that fell apart alongside.
  6. I was only able to get three out of mine!
  7. Toss with the olive oil and place in the oven to roast.
  8. The cauliflower will take between 20-30 minutes.
  9. I like mine a little crispy around the edges so after 20 minutes I keep an eye on it.
  10. Sometimes it takes about 40 minutes to get it nice and brown.
  11. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the browned butter.
  12. In a small pan, melt the butter on low heat.
  13. Allow the butter to start getting bubbly, and foaming subside.
  14. Add the sliced garlic and rosemary spears.
  15. Continue to watch the butter, and went it starts turning colour, watch it very carefully because it will burn very quickly.
  16. You want the milk solids to turn a rich golden colour, almost brown.
  17. It will take between 4-6 minutes to brown butter.
  18. Remove from the heat and keep aside.
  19. Once the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and place onto a serving platter.
  20. Scatter the florets around as well.
  21. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  22. Pour the browned butter over the cauliflower and add the garlic slices and fried rosemary to the platter as well.
  23. Serve as a side to meats or as a vegetarian dish tossed with pasta.

Brown Butter Cauliflower

I hope you’re all having a great week so far. I hope it hasn’t been too hectic, I am thoroughly enjoying all the holiday posts and the cookie and cake features. Since we don’t celebrate Christmas, I hardly ever bake holiday cookies, but seeing all the pretty shapes and sizes makes me want to go out and buy holiday cutters and start baking!

Having said that, I am doing some holiday cookies for clients but they’re your run of the mill cookies, not intricately decorated gingerbread men or sugar cookies. So, I’m with you all in spirit!

Have a great rest of the week, dear friends!

Bhindi Masala | Indian Fried Okra

bhindi masala

Ok, yes, so I kind of disappeared again. However, that wasn’t my intention at all but you know how life takes over your life? That’s what happened. It has been crazy here at the Coffee and Crumpets headquarters.

I wish I could tell you that I’ve been on some wild adventure or been knee high in flour and butter creating master class culinary delights, but alas, that is most definitely, not the case.

The extent of my excitement this week was thinking that I may be getting my dream car. That dream’s life was cut pretty short by the realisation that I am definitely not there yet. Note: just because you have a website, a food blog and people may know you, that doesn’t make your bank account any more padded. It does, however, give you delusions of grandeur.

purple okra

I am still getting a new car, but it will be a more realistic Toyota, maybe. Although, I’m definitely aiming for the badass, humongous truck (can you tell I’m having a mid life crisis? ) I have to hand it to my husband though, he hit the nail on the head when he described me to the sales guy. The very nice salesperson at the dealership the other night, showed us all the SUVs and trucks we asked to see and test drive and while we were checking them all out, we kept discussing the kids and how they’d all fit in if and when, we needed them to all fit in at any given time. So, Fred, our sales guy, asks very nicely if we had considered the mini van because it was so spacious and roomy for people and cargo. My husband looks at him and goes, “Uuuh, she’s not that kind of a soccer mom.” Quite an accurate description, though I’m not sure if it was meant as a compliment or not.

Well, the search goes on and we may decide this week. Along with car hunting, the lives of many of my home appliances and home audio are slowly coming to an end.

bhindi masala

The other day I lost my very expensive home theatre amplifier. I cannot believe its life span was 7 years, 7 years! Is that it? Needless to say, I’m not happy or impressed, but on a fun note, I will get to go audio shopping sometime next year when we finally move into our own home. One of my favourite passions is home audio.

A couple of nights ago, our dryer decided it had had enough and while we were at the car dealership, it decided to come to a screeching halt, literally. Unfortunately, it also had a load in it and a load in the washer. Ugh. So, this meant that at 10.30 at night, my husband and I were driving around for a launderette. No luck since they all close at 10. Ugh. So, we came home and hung all the wet clothes on the banisters and every upright rack or rod that could hold a piece of clothing. Ugh.

So, you can see that I haven’t been exaggerating. It’s been insane. Add work, soccer practice, soccer games, Homecoming, a senior graduating next year and all her demands, senior portrait photo shoots, college applications, other demanding teen daughters and you have a one poor me who spends all her time in the car with her nerves perpetually frazzled.

red okra-1

Let me tell you, if you think parenting gets easier as they get older, WRONG! It is so much more difficult, physically and emotionally, the older they get. I’m sure there is a rainbow and a pot of gold somewhere, but I may be too old and blind by that time! But, it’s all good. These are the things memories are made of, and what we cherish eventually.

So, whilst I’ve been making these memories, I’ve sadly neglected my blog and my blog friends. It’s been so hard to get into the kitchen and cook, let alone photograph. I’ve had no time to visit anyone, so please forgive me. I value my blog friendships and don’t take them lightly. I feel like I’m missing out when I don’t stop by and read what is going on in everyone’s lives. I will be visiting soon. I just need the craziness to calm down a little.

The dish I’m sharing today was made a few weeks ago when the weather was warmer and the farm produce abundant. The Colorado growing season is coming to an end and I’m a little sad that I wasn’t able to take full advantage of it this year.

This okra came from my local, organic farm and it was not only beautiful but delicious. I’m actually, not a huge okra fan… it’s the sliminess. But I can eat it fried or stir fried like this one.

In its simplest form, I’ve made this with nothing but sliced okra, some garlic, red cayenne pepper and turmeric. Stir fry till nicely browned and crispy and I guarantee, you will eat the whole plate yourself. This time around, I had to use up some organic heirloom tomatoes that were sorely neglected, so I threw them in there with some caramelised onions. This takes a bit more work but makes a more substantial side dish.

bhindi masala

Bhindi Masala | Indian Fried Okra

Rating 

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6 servings

Stir fried okra with Indian warm spices.
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds/680g tender okra
  • 1 medium onion, sliced finely
  • 1 large tomato, chopped fine
  • 1½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons oil, neutral flavoured like avocado
  • cilantro/coriander, handful chopped
Instructions
  1. Trim the okra and chop in half diagonally or lengthwise, depending on size.
  2. Small okra can be left whole.
  3. I sliced it lengthwise here.
  4. Heat a large skillet or fry pan on medium high heat and add the oil.
  5. Add the sliced onions and cook until nicely browned and caramelised.
  6. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  7. Add the garam masala and sauté a minute until fragrant.
  8. Add the okra and toss with the onions and spices till well coated.
  9. Add the turmeric and cayenne powder if using.
  10. If the okra sticks or seems too dry, you can add another tablespoon of oil if needed.
  11. Stir fry the okra until it starts to turn brown and crispy, 5 minutes.
  12. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are broken down and released their juices, 5 minutes.
  13. Keep cooking until the oil begins to separate and the onions and tomatoes form a thick gravy, another 7-10 minutes.
  14. Check for salt.
  15. Add the chopped cilantro.

So, if you enjoy okra, you will love this Indian style fried okra or as we call it, bhindi masala. And surprisingly, it doesn’t get slimy prepared this way, which is a huge plus in my book.

I hope everyone is having a great start to the week. Soccer season is over, yay, so I should have some sense of normalcy setting in now. I will see you all soon!!