Cauliflower is one of those humble vegetables that can take on almost any flavor. It plays a supporting role in curries and stir fries. Even in a Cauliflower Gratin or Casserole, where one would think it would take center stage, the focus tends to be on the cheese or sauce or breadcrumbs on top.
Whole, a head of cauliflower is heavy and hard to cut into. Once dismantled, it's florets are delicate and easy to break apart.
Oregano, while less of a "blank slate," is similarly humble. Basil grows taller and lavender blossoms into soft purple blooms. Thyme and rosemary seem to get all of the attention, compared to oregano. But oregano is there, just as important in making Italian Seasoning and Herbs De Provence.
Roasted together, the cauliflower and oregano become my favorite part of this dish. Kalamata Olives are like little savory salty jewels in between, and lemon adds a fresh pop. But in the end, I would make this even if I didn't have any olives or lemon in the house. They may be simple, but I could eat this dish even if it was just roasted cauliflower and oregano. They are the center piece, the protagonist, the lead role. For once, the other ingredients here (Kalamata olives and lemons) lift them up.
"A great man is always willing to be little.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, on humility
Serves: 4 | Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Chop the cauliflower into florets, and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
- Scatter olives across pan, and drizzle with avocado oil. Toss to coat vegetables. Sprinkle with oregano and salt.
- Cut the lemon into wedges. Gently squeeze a few of the wedges over the cauliflower, and place wedges on cookie sheet.
- Bake for 40 minutes, until cauliflower is browning. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
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