Cauliflower is a staple in the low-carb/high-fat community, where it is used to fill the void where the potatoes, rice, or pasta used to be. Here’s proof that it can outshine its starchy counterparts. It doesn’t have to imitate anything and it certainly doesn’t need to be boring!

Move over, ho-hum sides. Meet my new love!

1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds) cut into florets
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Coarse salt (use sparingly as other ingredients are salty)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter
4 slices bacon, chopped, or 4 slices prosciutto, cut into fine strips
1 Preserved Lemon, skin only, well rinsed to remove salt, and cut into fine strips*
3 oil-cured Calabrian chilies, seeded and cut into thin strips, or ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes.
¼ cup quartered, pitted green olives
¼ cup quartered, pitted oil-cured, Kalamata olives

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss cauliflower with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare topping.

Place remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium  saute pan. Add bacon or prosciutto and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until crisp. Drain and set aside.

Put butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. When butter begins to brown, add the preserved lemon skin. Cook and stir until lemon begins to crisp.

Stir in the chili strips or flakes and olives. Allow to cook for about 20 seconds. Add bacon or prosciutto and heat through.

Transfer roasted cauliflower to a heated serving platter and top with bacon, lemon, chili, and olive mixture. Serve hot.

Serves 4 to 6
Nutrition data for each of 6 servings:
Cal: 255; Protein: 2.7g; Fat: 25.5g; Fiber: 2.5g; Carbs: 5.8g; Net Carbs: 3.3g

*NOTE: Preserved lemons can be purchased or made by my recipe. Another option is to use this shortcut from my friend and fellow IACP member, Carol Dearth. Carol is the owner of the Sizzle Works Cooking School in Bellevue, WA. See her directions, below, for a quick version of preserved lemons. It is part of another version of a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Preserved Lemons on her blog.

Sizzle Work’s Quick Preserved Lemons:
1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt

Cut lemon in half, lengthwise, then slice crosswise paper thin, discarding seeds and ends. Cut slices in half again. In a bowl, mix lemon with salt. Let stand 15 to 45 minutes. Rinse, drain, and store in refrigerator.

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(c) 2014, Judy Barnes Baker,

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!
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