This side dish has origins in Chinese cooking (hence the name) and is typically fried. This version roasts the cauliflower instead to intensify the flavor, and the spicy tomato-based sauce reduces with the vegetables. Serve with a simple cooked spinach side, a mild curry with potatoes and peas, and plenty of flatbread (naan) to scoop up the sweet-salty sauce.
5 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 large head)
Combine first 3 ingredients and 1 teaspoon oil in a large bowl; toss well. Place cauliflower mixture in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add black pepper to pan, and sauté 1 minute. Add garlic; sauté for 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in red pepper; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until thick.
Remove cauliflower mixture from oven. Stir in ketchup mixture. Bake at 425° for an additional 20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender, stirring after 10 minutes.
I love this recipe. There's nothing like the texture of roasted cauliflower. Beware, if you're not already familiar with how spicy a half a teaspoon of cayenne is, this recipe is fiery! The typical palette will probably prefer a quarter teaspoon instead. My wife isn't a big fan of this, so I only make it for myself. In re: auntcy's comments, the recipe does tell you only to roast until tender, and roast time certainly depends on the size of the florets you break the head up into. The roast time was just fine for me when I broke up a large head into about eight to ten florets. Also, yes, the sauce is strong, but that's the point of the recipe. I'd compare it to the typical Indian dish, where the sauce is front and center.
We thought this was just "eh". The sauce was overpowering and the cauliflower was over cooked. If you want to mask the taste of cauliflower then this is the recipe for you. But, this does have potential. We thought the sauce was much too sweet. Might try it with plain tomato sauce next time to cut down on the sweetness and will definitely roast for shorter time.
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