Cauliflower is roasted to crisp-tender, and then bathed in a warm pancetta garlic vinaigrette. It’s a tangy, warm peppery Roasted Cauliflower Salad perfect for chilly nights.
Everyday, it seems, I have to send one or both kids back to their rooms to change before heading out to the school bus. Different jeans. A shirt that doesn’t clash with their sweatshirt. Something warmer. More layers. Gloves. A winter hat. It feels like a never ending battle to teach them how to dress appropriately and well.
I try to give them leeway with their clothes, but practicality always wins out. On the coldest Maine days, stretch pants and dresses aren’t warm enough. Layers are necessary. Fabrics must be chosen with care. This is all things I’ve learned living here, all things I try to teach my kids.
Somedays, it feels like they don’t hear me. Somedays, it feels like they still haven’t grasped the connection between how cold the air will feel and the fabrics and clothes they choose. Part of me wants to tuck away the clothes that are inappropriate for the time of year, but with our weather ranging from balmy to frigid, it’s hard to decide what’s going to be just right for tomorrow.
But no matter what, I won’t throw up my hands or give up or give in … because it matters. Just like it matters to dress appropriately for whatever situation you’re in, it matters to dress appropriately for the weather. And maybe, just maybe, over time they will come to understand.
You know what also matters? Eating well — especially with the season in mind. While I look forward to the days of salads and chilled soups, right now hot dishes are where it’s at. Warm dishes, like this Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Warm Pancetta Garlic Vinaigrette, have a way of soothing your body on those cold days.
I mean, it may be the end of March, but it’s still snowing here in Maine. And even if it wasn’t, this is still a good dish for those chilly early spring nights.
Fresh cauliflower is cut into wedges and tossed with seasonings. This makes sure all the pieces get coated with the flavorful herbs and whatnot.
Then it’s roasted. The cauliflower in this recipe becomes caramelized, while still being crisp-tender. You cut those wedges into pieces, and toss it with the bright, peppery warm pancetta garlic vinaigrette. That takes it from ordinary to wonderful.
And then you dig in, and let it warm you from the inside out.
Now, time to make sure the kids have their warm gloves, lined winter hats and zipped up coats … because baby, it’s cold out there today.
- 1 head cauliflower, leaves removed and ends trimmed
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp dried thyme
- 1/8 tsp oregano
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 oz chopped pancetta
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp extra volive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cut the cauliflower into 8 wedges, keeping the core intact. In a large bowl, toss with olive oil, sugar, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Spread out on a metal baking sheet, keeping a cut side of each piece down on the baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping once, until browned. Remove from the oven and let cook slightly before cutting into 1-inch pieces.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet set on a burner set to medium heat, brown the pancetta. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the olive oil and vinegar to the pan and whisk vigorously to combine. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, add the cauliflower. Pour the pancetta mixture over and mix well. Add the parsley and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Enjoy immediately.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.