Just as the the summer sun glows like the yolk of an egg and the kernels on an ear of corn deliver the golden hue of a piece of fine gold jewelry, this roasted cauliflower with annatto-infused olive oil can bring summer into your kitchen on the gloomiest of days.
This is the first week of summer. This steamy mid-June, too early for the dog days with their three H’s — Hazy, Hot and Humid — sucks all the desire to spend hours in the kitchen after a long day at work out of me, but there’s enough of me left to roast vegetables and quickly sauté a chicken breast.
To make this cauliflower special, I finally cracked open a jar of Annatto seeds that I’ve had in my kitchen since October. I was going to use saffron, but I only have a few threads left from my last purchase and while I would have liked to have had that field of crocuses flavor, these red seeds from the achiote pod not only lend an earthy flavor to the dish, but the color is simply beautiful. It glows.
Now, if you believe everything that comes from the pages of Wikipedia you might be tempted to stay far away from these color-inducing Annatto seeds because they may well induce more than color on your cauliflower. But who wants to be scared away from the potential to break out in hives, or worse? Not me. I’m a risk-taker and these seeds are no match for me.
In the end, the cauliflower was tasty and colorful and a great accompaniment to my dinner of grilled chicken tortillas with more of that lip-puckering Aji Verde. You know, the other day, a friend suggested I bottle the stuff. I think she’s got the right idea! And don’t think I won’t try.
|Annatto Infused Cauliflower Steaks||
- 1 large, firm head of Cauliflower rinsed and cut into “steaks” by slicing vertically through the core
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Annatto Seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground Sea Salt
- Preheat an oven to 425º
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Combine all ingredients except the cauliflower in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a paper towel
- Heat in a microwave for 30 seconds
- Carefully place the cauliflower steaks on the baking sheet, taking care not to break the florets
- Using a pastry brush, spread 1/2 of the infused oil mixture on the cauliflower
- Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes
- Turn and brush the other side of the cauliflower with the remaining oil and roast for an additional 15 minutes or until the cauliflower begins to brown
- Remove to a plate and serve
This sunny side dish has a Weight Watchers Points Plus value of 2 and is just 56.1 calories.