Elaine Walker, Vegetables

Green Curry Cauliflower Roast

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons peanut or other vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, such as Thai Kitchen brand
One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk, unsweetened (do not use light)
1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus more leaves for garnish
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemon grass (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 red bird’s-eye chile pepper, sliced, plus more for optional garnish
1 large (2- to 3-pound) head of cauliflower
Lime wedges, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the cornstarch and 1/4 cup of the broth in a small bowl; this is a slurry that will help thicken the sauce.
  2. Pour the oil into a cast-iron skillet or other oven-proof pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the curry paste and stir-fry until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the coconut milk, the remaining cup of broth, the cornstarch mixture, sugar, salt, lime leaves, chopped basil, chopped lemon grass (if using), the lime juice and chile. Increase the heat to medium-high; cook until the sauce starts bubbling, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until it thickens, 5 minutes. Taste, and add more salt, as needed. Carefully pour the sauce from the skillet into a pitcher or liquid measuring cup.
  3. Trim all the leaves from the base of the cauliflower. Trim the thick part of the stalk as much as needed so the cauliflower can sit flat in the skillet.
  4. Place the cauliflower bottom side up in the skillet, and pour about half of the curry sauce onto the cauliflower, letting it seep into the florets for a minute. Flip the cauliflower right side up and repeat, pouring the remaining sauce over the top and letting it pool back around the cauliflower. Use a brush as needed to coat the cauliflower thoroughly.
  5. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes, until the cauliflower starts to become tender when pierced with a large metal skewer or fork. Uncover, baste with the sauce from the pan and continue roasting, basting every 10 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is tender and has turned golden, about 30 additional minutes.
  6. Carve into thick wedges or slices and serve hot, with the extra sauce from the pan spooned over or served on the side. Garnish with more basil leaves, the lime wedges and the chile slices, if desired.