This recipe combines two nutritional basics: cauliflower and turmeric. Cauliflower, one of the heart-healthy cruciferous vegetables, fills you with very few calories and is almost always available in even the most ordinary of grocery markets. Turmeric is an ancient spice with reputed healing properties: it is known to be both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
The “Almost Summer” spice blend is a combination of my favorite spices; I start with turmeric, because of its lovely, summery color and exceptional health benefits, and then add others to my liking. When I first created this particular blend, I was looking for something that has all the vibrancy and spiciness of what I associate with warmer months—in anticipation of a warm and sunny summer.
Roasted Cauliflower with “Almost Summer” Spice Blend
- “Almost Summer” Spice Blend
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 head cauliflower, preferably organic (about 2–3 pounds)
Olive or grape seed oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest of one lemon or small orange (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425˚F and, for easier cleanup, line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Combine dried spices in a small bowl.
- Remove green leaves and core from cauliflower. Chop cauliflower into bite-size pieces or florets.
- Toss cauliflower florets in a large bowl with enough oil to very lightly coat and protect the vegetable and to provide something for the spices to stick to, but use a gentle hand—you don’t want the cauliflower to be at all greasy or oily.
- Toss approximately 1 scant tablespoon of spice blend with cauliflower (until the florets are lightly dusted) along with salt and pepper to taste.
- Put cauliflower onto the sheet pan in a single layer.
- Roast cauliflower, tossing about halfway through, for 20–30 minutes or until the edges start to turn a deep caramel color.
- Before serving, taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. If using the lemon or orange zest, sprinkle it on now.
- Roasted Broccoli with “Almost Summer” Spice Blend. Similar-size pieces of similar-density vegetables such as broccoli will cook in approximately the same time in a 425˚F oven.
- Simple Roasted Cauliflower. Cauliflower is delicious when made simply with oil, salt, and pepper, and then finished with a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- “Almost Summer” Spice Blend with Protein. This spice blend on grilled chicken breasts or shrimp.
The leftover spice blend will keep in a covered container for many weeks. Before using any spice or dried herb, give it a good smell: if it doesn’t smell strongly of its nature, you may need to replace it with a fresh jar. And don’t worry if you do not have all the spices listed in this blend—use what you have and what you like. Experiment!
Cauliflower is an excellent source of fiber and is very low in calories. It is also an excellent source of vitamins C, K, and B6. The health benefits of turmeric continue to be explored as something with true medicinal benefits.
For more health information check out the Yoffie Life Food Encyclopedia page on cauliflower.
Any leftover cauliflower makes for a great snack the next day: take some to work with you in a baggie or container, and nibble on in the afternoon — better for you than anything out of a vending machine. Or toss any leftovers into your salad as a low-calorie and high-flavor substitute for croutons.