I recently visited my mom in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec. I like to deliver her Christmas treats in person and spend some time together before our nuclear family hunkers down for the holidays.
Although there wasn’t much snow to speak of, there were plenty of bright lights and decorations strewn about, and a general feeling of Christmas in our bellies.
We ate French onion soup at our favourite crêperie in Saint-Sauveur, got our hair cut (ok, I got a hair cut and my mom graciously accompanied me), and cuddled up in our pjs to watch Christmas specials in front of the fire.
My favourite part of the visit though, was cooking dinner together. We don’t get to do that very often and it’s pretty memorable when we do. Not because it’s grand by any stretch, but because we’re together. I had brought some shrimp along and mom picked up some great looking produce for the visit: cauliflower, mushrooms and two huge pomegranates. While I stir-fried the shrimp, mom looked after seeding the pomegranate (doing a mighty fine job I might add, not nearly the mess I typically create).
I had the cauliflower ready to go in the oven and thought I would add the mushroom to the roasting pan when I noticed mom already had them going on the stove-top. Now I’ve probably been using olive oil in frying for at least a decade. My mom, like many long-living French Canadian women before her, uses butter.
Well, if those mushrooms weren’t the best darn things I had ever tasted…
I’ll never forget them. Merci Maman.
Roasted Cauliflower with Seared Butter Mushrooms and Pomegranate
1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 generous cup button mushrooms, sliced fairly thin
1 pomegranate, seeded
2 tsp butter
Drizzle of olive oil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt & black pepper to taste
Note: I wouldn’t underestimate the pomegranate in this recipe. I am always amazed by the flavourful, juicy crunch they bring to dishes despite their tiny size. So delicious!
Heat oven to 400 F.
Spread cauliflower out on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with onion and garlic powder.
Roast in oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm a skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium/high heat – add butter and then mushrooms – sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and toss for about two minutes or until a nice browning develops.
Combine roasted cauliflower, warm butter mushrooms and pomegranate together and enjoy as a delicious side to any meal.