roasted cauliflower

the advancing morning light flickers in later and later each day indicating that we have passed the half-way mark between the summer solstice and the autumnal equinox. the garden is making a turn toward fall, and our hummingbirds have started their annual feeding frenzy to fortify for the migration south . . . we duck and sway out of their way now when we cross our decks.
this sunflower in my garden is a late summer bloomer that has ushered in an early sign of fall.

       just this last weekend my hostess-thoughts projected out to plans for fall dinner parties and even beyond, to the holidays. i started a few menus: italian, indian, and vegetarian. cauliflower is listed on two of them, and this recipe for roasting it will be the feature served to some herbivorous friends. the flavor is deep and intense, and it will pair well with red lentil/roasted garlic hummus and hunks of whole wheat bread. i also anticipate the snap-crackle-pop of a fire while we eat dinner, and the likely conversation about the record hot summer of 2010.
 roasting cauliflower tames the bossy cabbage flavor, and caramelizes it with a crispy-nutty-sweetness.

• 1 large head of cauliflower
• about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of safflower oil for drizzling
• salt and pepper
• a fresh lemon juice
1. preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. break or cut the cauliflower into individual florets.
3. put the cauliflower onto a large rimmed baking sheet. then drizzle it with the safflower oil. sprinkle on some salt and pepper.
4. roast about 30 minutes until the florets are tender and golden brown.
5. serve with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice.
each day that the sun retreats away from the summer solstice, my kitchen shadow moves farther and farther across the wall.

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