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Cauliflower with Orange Zest and Green Onion

Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium. Soaking it in water before baking is an important step, as the moisture creates hot steam that helps the cauliflower cook to a tender and succulent finish. Advise diners to squeeze a little lemon juice onto the cauliflower at the table. The citrus will heighten the flavors of this cool-weather dish. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, about 1 3/4 lb., cored and cut into uniform-size florets 
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, or more, to taste 
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped green onion 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  • 2 tsp. grated orange zest 
  • 4 lemon wedges

Directions:

Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl and add cold water to cover. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Spread the cauliflower in a single layer in a shallow, 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake the cauliflower, turning the florets every 10 minutes and sprinkling with 1 to 2 Tbs. cold water each time, until they are tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.

Combine the green onion, parsley and orange zest on a cutting board and finely chop together. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle evenly with the green onion mixture. Spoon the cauliflower into a warmed serving dish and garnish with the lemon wedges. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking, by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).