It would have been quite fun to be the first to encounter this variety of orange cauliflower, which is the result of genetic mutation, in the fields.
Commonly referred to as “cheddar” cauliflower, this winter delight tastes nearly identical as its white hued counterpart. It yields a higher level of beta carotene, however, which is important in our diets as a precursor to vitamin A and also found in most other orange-pigmented vegetables.
When cooking, you can generally swap out these vibrant orange heads with that of standard cauliflower. A majority of the orange color is retained when cooked, making for a really nice presentation on the plate. Whether roasted, steamed, sautéed or fried, it makes for a great addition to your meals.
My favorite preparation for cauliflower, generally, is to roast it in the oven.
I tend to roast most of my vegetables at about 425 degrees for about 45 minutes, which can vary slightly depending on what other vegetables I’m working with and the size of the pieces. This week, I roasted this orange cauliflower with farmers market potatoes, then tossed the finished product in a garlic chard sauté.
The velvety leafy green with the nutty roasted vegetables lends to a great combination of textures and flavors. The seasoning and garlic tie it all together. You can also add Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes or any of your other favorite roasting veggies.
Roasted Orange Cauliflower and Potatoes with Garlicky Chard
1 medium head orange cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
2 medium potatoes, cut into half-inch pieces (I like to leave the skins on) Olive oil Salt and pepper
1 large head chard, stems discarded, chopped
4 cloves garlic, coat sly chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, add cauliflower and potatoes.
Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil, season liberally with salt and pepper and toss until evenly coated. Place in a roasting dish and cook for about 45 minutes.
In a large sauté pan, add about 2 tablespoons olive oil and turn to high heat. Cook chard about 2 minutes, then add garlic. Toss regularly and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until the garlic cooked through and chard willed.
Finished by tossing the roasted veggies with the garlicky chard. This side pairs very well with roasted or grilled meats, in particular fish preparations.
Yield: Serves 4-6 sides.