Grilling This Memorial Day? Why You Should Throw On Some Cauliflower.

Austin Food & Wine Festival

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Memorial Day is this weekend! Break out the grill and kick-off the unofficial beginning of the grilling season with some cauliflower. It just may be the best cauliflower you've ever had.

The Austin Food & Wine Festival is a great place to learn new and surprising techniques from some of the world's best chefs. I had so much fun at last year's grilling demo with Chef Tim Love that I just had to see what he would be cooking up this year. We cooked steak, of course, but what really impressed me was the grilled cauliflower. Enjoy it this Memorial Day for a standout side!

Some Like it Hot

When it comes to grilling, it's all about heat. A piping hot grill ensures that beautiful charred crust we all want, and it applies for both meat and vegetables. If you have an electric grill, get things started by igniting a high heat flame on the area you'll be working on. Close the lid and let the inside temperature of the grill rise. 

If you have a charcoal grill (as shown in the pics) be sure to light up a chimney full of wood chunks — you can use charcoal briquets as well. When the wood (or charcoal) at the very top of the chimney begins to ash, add it to the lower section of the grill under the grates, then cover.

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Prep for Deliciousness

As the grill heat up, prepare the cauliflower by first cutting in half. Then cut each half into thick 3/4" wide cross-sections. Coat the cauliflower with a layer of oil (we used peanut oil at the demonstration), then cover the in a tried and true seasoning blend you enjoy — a mix of salt, pepper, chili powder, and rosemary works well. Season the cauliflower chunks liberally on all sides.

Set it and Forget it

With your grill hot, add the cauliflower to the hot grates and cover the grill. If you have an electric grill turn the flames down to medium-high to maintain the high temperature. Let the thermometer on the grill guide you, as outside temperatures and wind play a factor. 

For a charcoal grill simply set it and forget it. Let the cauliflower grill for 15 minutes before turning and grilling the other side for another 10-15 minutes. Try to prevent peeking under the hood as this will let all the steam contained inside escape. Let the grill work its magic.

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Squeeze and Savor

When the cauliflower looks good and blackened, finish with a squeeze of lemon right over top. Remove the cauliflower from the grill and enjoy! You can also try this technique on asparagus, carrots, or nearly any other root vegetable. Have a great Memorial Day!

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(Images: Chris Perez)

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