Here is a good way to begin the New Year. This vegetable dish takes “Roasted Cauliflower” and adds a few additional ingredients to make a “Jazzed Up” version. Yum. I love cauliflower. Add in bacon, jalapeno peppers, whole garlic cloves and onion. Now we’re really cookin’. The result adds a “surprise” element to rather ordinary cauliflower dish and makes a nice recipe for the new year. Cauliflower is a cool seasonal vegetable — now is time to find the best ones in produce markets.
There was a time in my life where I didn’t like cauliflower. Not at all. But things change and now that I’ve learned to eat cauliflower I can’t get enough of this vegetable. I especially enjoy cauliflower when combined with other ingredients — such as cheese — and other flavors. The recipes for “Cauliflower Tempura with Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Sauce” and “Cauliflower Au Gratin with Cajun-Inspired Spices” are still two of my favorite ones on this blog. When I ran across an article entitled, “63 Crazy Creative Things To Make With Cauliflower,” on the huge food and recipe internet site, “Delish.com”, I realized that I still have plenty of room for cauliflower recipes. Their roasted cauliflower recipe adding in bacon especially caught my attention. Hum. Bacon and cauliflower. I decided to make my own adaptation of their recipe — changing it up quite a bit in the process..
In addition to bacon, I added several other vegetables to my concoction using the “Delish.com” recipe as a starting point. Jalapeno peppers add a “hot” element to the dish. And I love garlic and onions — of course I had to add these two ingredients.
The key to this dish is to get the vegetables chopped up so that they roast and finish cooking in the same time frame. For quicker cooking, I cut the cauliflower florets into moderate-sized pieces. After experimentation, I added whole garlic cloves rather than minced pieces (these burnt to a crisp). I found that mild-flavored thick-slab type bacon worked best in this recipe — don’t substitute thin-sliced bacon — it seemed to just wither up. Yes, I made this recipe several times. Here are the all the ingredients in the recipe.
After all the vegetables are prepared, I coated them in olive oil, fine sea salt and black pepper. No need for alot of spices; the vegetables themselves tell the story. I found that adding olive oil is necessary — even with bacon added in — so that the cauliflower “roasts” rather than “steams.” To easily combine and coat the vegetables, I put them in a large zip lock bag and tossed them around.
To finish the recipe, place all the ingredients in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in a hot oven just enough to make tender-crisp cauliflower and cook the bacon. No need to turn or flip the vegetables while cooking. I liked the browned edges of the cauliflower which is missing if you turn over the cauliflower.
Serve on a platter for a festive dish.
I have learned that there are many ways to prepare cauliflower in addition to a simple “boiled cauliflower” dish. Why settle for something plain? The recipe for “Jazzed Up Cauliflower” is quick and easy to prepare and really enhances the flavor of cauliflower.
I am up to seven cauliflower recipes on this blog. Looks like I might have room for several more ideas before I catch up with “Delish.com.” I’ll keep thinking as it is the creativity that keeps me perking along in writing my blog. Enjoy my latest cauliflower recipe!
Jazzed Up Cauliflower
- 1 large head cauliflower, chopped into moderate-sized florets (6 cups chopped, loose packed)
- 3/4 large red onion, cut into chunks (2 cups chunks)
- 1 whole garlic, skin removed with cloves left intact
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 6 oz mild-flavored thick-cut bacon, chopped (such as applewood smoked bacon)
- 2 to 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Method and Steps:
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Place chopped cauliflower, onion, garlic cloves, jalapeno pepper and bacon in a large zip lock bag. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, fine sea salt and pepper and toss to coat vegetables. If needed, add up to additional 2 Tbsp olive to completely coat ingredients.
- Transfer coated vegetables to lined baking sheet.
- Bake in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes until cauliflower is tender crisp and slightly browned and bacon is cooked. May cook 5 to 10 additional minutes, if needed.
- Transfer to serving platter and serve.