posted by Caroline

I realize that just by writing that title, I run the risk of losing once-happy eaters from our dinner table; somehow they will sense that I consider this meal a winner, and they’ll cringe and complain next time it appears on the table. Eli, using the phrase he adopted from our winter-long reading of the Pooh books, will shake his head and say mournfully, “I’m not in cauliflower corner anymore.”

But, in the interest of spreading the word about a couple things that have worked for us, in the hopes that they might work for you, here is one dinner that my children have, at least in the past, reliably eaten. Check in next week to see if the power of the blog has somehow reduced its appeal.

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower

1/3 c pitted olives, very coarsely chopped (or more, to taste)

2-3 tbsp capers (again, more or less depending on how salty you like things)

1 pound of pasta

olive oil

freshly ground black pepper, grated Parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley to taste; toasted bread crumbs would be a nice addition, too, if you happen to have them

Preheat the oven to 400 and put up a big pot of water to boil.

Break the cauliflower up into bite-sized florets (this is the most time-consuming part of the recipe). Toss the cauliflower onto a large baking pan, with the olives and capers, and drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil over the lot. Roast, stirring once or twice, for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender and starting to brown a bit around the edges.

Toward the end of the cauliflower-cooking time, boil the pasta. When it’s done, drain, reserving a half cup or so of the pasta water. Toss the pasta back into the cooking pot with the roasted cauliflower, olives and capers. Add some of the pasta water if it seems too dry. Serve with lots of freshly ground black pepper, grated cheese,  a sprinkling of parsley, and some bread crumbs.