Incredibly tender and delicious, this technique of steaming and then roasting an entire head of cauliflower will forever heighten the way you think about this vegetable! Sometimes, in addition to the garlic confit, I will schmear some rendered duck or chicken fat on top of the head before adding my seasoning and enclosing it in the foil. Totally yum…
Shallow baking sheet or oven-proof dish
- 1 large head cauliflower
- Chicken stock or vegetable broth, as needed
- Garlic confit, as needed (can mix melted butter with garlic oil, or use melted duck fat that has been rendered with minced onions and drained)
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- To set up: Preheat the oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick, heavy aluminum foil.
- To prepare the cauliflower: Wash and dry the cauliflower. Remove any green leaves from the base of the head and, using a paring knife, remove the end of the core without detaching the flowerets. (Drive the tip of the blade in at the base on an angel so that all you remove is the fibrous end). Pour about ¾ cup stock onto the prepared baking sheet and place the head, base side down, on top. Generously baste the top of the cauliflower with the garlic confit oil (or a mixture of butter and oil) and scatter some of the cooked garlic cloves around. Season the top with salt and paper and cover the head with more foil. Bring up the sides of the bottom sheet of foil and scrunch the bottom edges together with the top edges of foil, enclosing the vegetable.
- To bake: Place the baking sheet into a well-preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the top piece of foil, raise the heat to 500F and continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is well browned. (If, after the first 10 minutes at 500F, the oven starts to smoke, reduce the temperature to 350F and bake until the exterior of the cauliflower looks correct.)
- To serve: Remove from the oven and place the cauliflower onto a warmed serving platter. Pour any remaining liquid from the bottom piece of foil over the top. Cut the head into wedges and serve.
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