I love no-fuss roasting and baking, especially in the fall and winter, when I want a hot, satisfying, healthy dish that doesn’t take too long in the oven. This one fits the bill, clocking in at 20 to 25 minutes of bake time, and with the zesty cumin-turmeric aroma quickly filling your home, you’ll be ready to eat it by the time you sit down!
It’s also versatile. Broccoli or green beans are good substitutes for cauliflower if you want to go down a greener path. However, cauliflower is also nutritious, being high in vitamin C, a good source of folate, and low in sodium. It also lends itself well to spices, and is easy to work with: Even if your florets fall apart a bit as you toss the vegetables, fear not—those tiny cauliflower pieces won’t burn, and they are flavor-packed! Truth be told, I have found myself gathering them up, along with scattered brussels sprouts leaves, and popping them all in my mouth. So there.
You can also tailor this recipe to your tastes in other ways. I like it on its own or over jasmine or basmati rice, simply adorned with cilantro. A veggie wrap (try a spinach wrap) would be a fun way to go and so would using it as an omelet filling for any meal, not just breakfast. And, if you’re inclined toward cheesy goodness, you could sprinkle some on top just before or after you take the vegetables out of the oven. Blander cheeses like paneer, queso blanco, a mild feta—or even cottage cheese—would work well.
Lastly, leftovers (if there are any!) reheat well in a frying pan over medium heat, but they are also good cold or at room temperature—think Indian potato salad. I just had a couple of scoops alongside a piece of cold, cooked salmon for lunch. Delish.
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into medium florets
5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (unpeeled), cut into 1-inch cubes
A few handfuls brussels sprouts (about 15), ends cut off, cut in half
4½–5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or vegetable oil)
A little more than 1 tablespoon turmeric
A little more than 1 tablespoon cumin
¾–1 tablespoon kosher salt (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Half bunch cilantro, washed, dried, chopped finely (optional)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place all the ingredients, except the cilantro and yogurt, in a large bowl and mix well, using your hands, making sure the spices and oil coat all the vegetables.
3. Spread veggies evenly out on a large sheet pan or roasting pan.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until veggies begin to brown, tossing with a spatula after 10 minutes to make sure they cook evenly.
5. Remove the veggies from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro, and toss a little.
6. Serve with plain yogurt.
7. Yield: 6 servings as a side
Photography: Andrea Killam