Can I mention again how much I enjoy cauliflower?  This is a lovely dish inspired by a roasted cauliflower salad I saw somewhere…but, unfortunately, I don’t think I bookmarked it.  The recipe is a great example of “cooking to taste.” You can easily use less lemon to have just a hint of acid instead of the bold lemon flavor I chose, shift the cauliflower to pasta ratio for a more vegetable-heavy dish, use lots of cheese or none at all, use barely warmed instead of well-cooked garlic, or even make the pistachio/parlsey/garlic/cheese into a pesto-like sauce to toss with the pasta and cauliflower.

Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta, Pistachios, and Parsley

consider these guidelines; adjust proportions to your taste!

1/2 head cauliflower
2 T olive oil (divided)
4 oz pasta of your choice
1 lemon, juiced (divided)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c parsley, minced
1/4 c pistachios, toasted and salted, roughly chopped
Pecorino romano, grated, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Slice the cauliflower into “steaks,” about 1/2 inch thick.  Brush a cookie sheet with oil and lay the steaks and any stray florets on the sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, flip and brush with lemon juice, reduce heat to 325, and bake for another 15 minutes.  Test the tenderness: they should be fork tender but not mushy.  Bake for another few minutes if necessary.  While the cauliflower roasts, heat water for cooking the pasta.  Mix together the remaining lemon juice and parsley.  Cook the pasta and drain, reserving a few tablespoons of cooking water.  Using the empty pasta pot, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat and briefly cook the garlic (stir it to prevent burning!).  Add the cauliflower and pasta to the pot.  Top with the pistachios and lemon juice /parsley mixture and toss well.  Serve, sprinkling cheese on top, if using.

Sunny update: RIP. Read more here.

Linked to: Meatless Monday