Thursday, April 19, 2012
Roasted Cauliflower Dippers with Smoked Paprika Aioli
I find cauliflower to be a rather deceptive and mendacious vegetable. Why? A head of cauliflower is a pleasing sight to behold. All those pretty white florets all bunched together in a nest of green leaves – it looks like a pretty flower! Even the word floret is pleasing, evoking images of tiny flowers. And once this vegetable catches your eye, it is hard to resist. And then you bring it home and put it in the fridge until you need a veggie side dish. And then that day comes when you actually need that veggie side dish…and you feel disappointed. You now have to actually eat the cauliflower, not just look at it. Cauliflower isn’t horrible, just blandly cabbage-y. And I seem to fall for this ALL the time. Finally, I said, how can I make this taste as pleasing to my taste buds as it looks? So I gave them a vibrant coating of seasonings like smoked paprika, cumin, and coriander, roasted them up, and turned them into dippers. What better dip than a nice from-scratch smoked paprika aioli? Dipping really does make everything better.
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice, divided
1 ½ teaspoon seasoning mix
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 egg yolks
1 cup vegetable oil
2 ½ teaspoons seasoning mix
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoons lime juice
¼ teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, mix cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, sea salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 ½ teaspoons seasoning mix, and garlic powder. Place florets in large bowl. Drizzle oil mixture over the cauliflower and toss with tongs. Place on baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes. Drizzle remaining lemon juice over the cooked florets.
I like to make mayonnaise by hand, though I know others find the food processor easier to use for this. I place the egg yolks in a small bowl. I place a cup of oil next to me and get out a tablespoon. Whisk the egg yolks to break them up. Add a tablespoon of oil. Whisk that into the egg yolks so the yolks absorb it. Then repeat. And repeat. Just be patient. It will probably take about 10 minutes to get through all the oil. Then stir in the seasoning mix, white wine vinegar, garlic, mustard, lime juice, and salt, and you are good to go.