10.07.2011

Roasted Cauliflower Crostini


I am a believer in traditions, not only do I believe that people should have traditions but I believe people should MAKE them. I personally have a couple traditions that I have started and I tend to enjoy them more than the real ones.
One of my traditions started a couple of years ago when I was still working in hotels. Now as you know, hotels are open 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Friday means nothing to someone who works at a hotel, because Friday might be their Wednesday or even their Monday. Holidays is another thing, hotel workers don’t get holidays off and most people, even if they do get the actual holiday off don’t have enough consecutive days off to make a trip home for dinner on Thanksgiving for example.  So I created Ragamuffin Thanksgiving, which you may also know by the name Orphan Thanksgiving. This momentous occasion is pretty much just like thanksgiving except, BETTER because it is a hodge podge of crazy people from work.  It might even be more awesome than having Thanksgiving with your crazy family because everyone is super grateful and thankful and that is what Thanksgiving is all about right?
“Wait Rhiana, why do I care about your dumb Oliver Twist Thanksgiving?”
Well dear reader the reason is this: Roasted Cauliflower Crostini

Now this Crostini is superior to all other Crostini in this moment in time for many reasons. Reasons like, sweet little golden raisins, salty capers, creamy goat cheese, earthy roasted cauliflower and a super fancy and exotic Middle Eastern Spice. It also happens to be simple to make and pretty much tastes like pure autumn.
Once you have a head of cauliflower you need to break into about a million tiny pieces. You might need to enlist the help of an eight pound hammer, or a strong and willing neighbor, maybe the Jaws of Life, or if you’re me you just have to bare hand it until you almost give yourself a seizure and then finally some little piece will break off and then you’re in. Curtains.
Roasted Cauliflower - Post bare hand crushing

Spread all the little pieces of cauliflower on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until browned which should take about 25 minutes.
This is also a good time to slice a baguette and toast it in the oven. This should only take about 10 minutes. So don’t go leaving it in there the whole time with the cauliflower because it won’t be pretty. 

Ingredients
1 French Baguette, sliced and toasted
1 Head of Cauliflower, broken apart and roasted with 2 TB Olive Oil
5 OZ Goat Cheese
1/4 Cup Golden Raisins
1/4 Cup Capers 
Salt & Pepper to taste
Sumac (a pinch for each)
While everything is roasting and toasting mix together 5 ounces of goat cheese, ¼ cup of capers and ¼ cup golden raisins. Once the cauliflower is roasted to your liking, drop it into the cheese mixture, if some of the olive oil falls in too, I won’t be mad. Combine.
PS -- unless you just happen to have golden raisins in your kitchen (because you are cool like that) buy them somewhere that sells them in bulk so you can scoop about a 1/4 a cup and only pay for that. Don't be like me and pay $9 for a pound of them from the Himalayas. Not smart. Especially when you are unemployed. Just not smart.
Now place a heaping spoon (tea or table) of the cauliflower goodness onto your toasted baguette.

Sumac
As if that wasn’t fancy enough you are now going to sprinkle each Crostini with some sumac.  Sumac is a deep red, lemony Middle Eastern spice. It is super fancy because you can make things sour without watering them down with lemon juice. Genius. You can absolutely skip this step if you can’t find Sumac and I promise it will still be good, but I suggest you get some Lebanese friends, not only to get sumac but it sounds like a good way to break the ice to me.

Baby Goat @ Harley Farm
Want to know the best place to purchase some goat cheese for this recipe? I love Harley Farms and Goat Dairy. Not only do they tons of SUPER cute baby goats running around but practically flawless Cherve, Formage Blanc and Ricotta. You can check them out HERE and maybe if you are ever in Pescadero California you will stop in for a tour, one of their farmhouse dinners or just to peek in the shop. If you bring me some (cheese or baby goats) I won’t be mad, promise.

You know, I just had a genius idea, why don’t know you make this and bring it to whenever you are having thanksgiving! If you don’t have anywhere to go, there is always room for one more at my table!

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