It's taken a few weeks since our Europe vacation for me to get back into a normal routine, but I'm finally getting my groove back. One practice that we've resurrected since the temperature has fallen is the Danish concept of "hygge," which sort of translates to "cozy time." Every Sunday night, we light candles, open a bottle of nice red wine, and I roast something in the oven so that the apartment is fragrant and warm. I've found that this is the only antidote to the Sunday sads, and is also a time to be mindful and grateful for what I have. I'm a firm believer that Thanksgiving is not the only time of year to practice thanks.
I love the smell of roasting vegetables (well, roasting anything really) and with Thanksgiving coming up, the thing that's on every cook's mind is what sides am I going to make? This is a pretty dish that's great for vegetarians and is easily adjusted to use carrots or broccoli or any other vegetable. I'm the first one to admit that I don't love mixing savory and sweet things together, but pomegranates seem to be my exception. They're typically a lot of work up front (there's no denying that), although I've found that the task is less tedious when parked in front of a "Master of None" marathon on a lazy weekend day. They're usually on sale at the grocery store around this time of year, so do yourself a favor and pick up a bunch. The best ones are wide and plump with an even, vibrant red outside.
Ingredients (Everything is approximate, and should be adjusted to taste)
- 1/4 cup olive oil, for roasting
- 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1/2 cup creme fraiche (sub with sour creme or even plain yogurt!)
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- salt and pepper
First, roast the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, toss the florets with the olive oil, and liberally season with salt and pepper. Roast the cauliflower in a single layer for approximately 30 minutes, tossing them once so that they brown evenly. The vegetables are done when slightly burnt at the edges and are tender with forked.
While the cauliflower is cooking, make the spiced creme fraiche. Mix the lime juice, cumin, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt in with the creme fraiche. Once the cauliflower is done, let it cool for 10 minutes or so. Pile it up in a bowl, drizzle the creme craiche over, and garnish with parsley and pomegranate seeds. If making ahead of time, wait until just before serving to dress the cauliflower, so they don't become soggy. This would also work well with roasted carrots or broccoli.