It’s hard to believe that I’d ever have the opportunity to say, “I’m on a cruciferous vegetable with hemp seed kick”, but here I am! After making this broccoli and hemp seed pesto as a new year healthy food experiment, I can’t seem to get enough of these little guys and have made this cauliflower recipe three or four times over the past few weeks.
Hemp has a rich, nutty flavor and smooth texture – it’s much different from other seeds, which are crunchier and less flavorful. It’s a great source of protein and omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) fatty acids and can be easily tossed on salads or blended with water for a nut-free milk alternative.
This particular recipe was born from the need to satisfy a dinner party with both nut and gluten allergies and is a call to vegetables topped with herbed bread-crumbs. This crunchy topping is so delicious that I would strongly recommend doubling the recipe and saving some for adding a bit of excitement to just about any dish. (It should save well for at least a few days in an air-tight container.)
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- avocado oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for roasting cauliflower
- 1/2 cup hemp seeds
- Zest of ~1/3 lemon
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon ghee (or butter or avocado oil)
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Spread the cauliflower florets on one baking sheet (make sure they are very dry!), and drizzle with avocado oil and a light dusting of salt. (Use only a bit of salt here as the hemp topping contains salt as well.) Toss the cauliflower with the oil and salt, and spread into an even layer. Roast for 15 minutes on one side, flip, and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes on the other side – until browned.
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the hemp seeds, 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon zest, oregano, parsley, ghee, and pepper. Pulse until just combined. Spread on the second baking sheet, and roast in the 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, flipping once about halfway through the cooking time. (Watch the hemp seeds closely to make sure they do not burn.) The hemp and cauliflower may be cooked at the same time on separate racks.
Spoon the Cauliflower into a serving dish, and top with the hemp seed mixture. Eat warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!