I went to Via Matta, an Italian restaurant here in Boston on Saturday night and had some really delicious cauliflower. Really delicious CAULIFLOWER, you ask? Yes, really, really delicious. It was roasted and encrusted in parmesan and it was delightful. Today I realized I had a cauliflower languishing the refrigerator and what better way to use it than to try to reproduce Via Matta's version. I would say that I almost succeeded, mine wasn't quite right, but it was very good - theirs had breadcrumbs, I didn't have any bread so I improvised with some ground nuts. Here's how I did it...
1 head cauliflower
1/2 cup nuts (I used a combo of walnuts and pecans, but I imagine almonds would be perfect)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Pre-heat oven to 350. Break down your cauliflower - easiest way to do it? Just slice the entire head into 1" slices and from there you can remove the core and cut the florets into smaller pieces if you want. Put the cauliflower on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place in your pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. At the 25 minute mark raise your heat to 400 and roast for an additional 10 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked through and a beautiful golden brown. Grate about 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese over the cauliflower and return to the oven for just a few minutes to let the cheese melt.
While the cauliflower cooks, combine nuts and garlic in a food processor until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. See what I did there? FAKE breadcrumbs. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a small pan and add your nut/garlic mixture to toast the nuts and cook the garlic. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese.
When the cauliflower is cooked through, transfer it to your serving dish and top with garlicky nut "breadcrumbs" and chopped parsley. Easy and delicious.
Note: I ended up with quite a bit extra nut mixture, so, super! I have it for later. But, either feel free to use it all, or make less, whichever you prefer.