Jump to Recipe

Most of our favorite condiments rely on vinegar – ketchup, pickles, mustard, barbecue sauce, salad dressings. Vinegar’s hit of pungent acidity provides a bitter/salt flavor combo that gets us to really notice the food it presents – like a ringmaster for the greatest bite on earth. Every cool chef in town is trending out with fermented foods and homemade vinegars. Perhaps the coolest around these neighborhoods is hipster-bearded, vegetable-celebrating, consonant-loving Travis Lett, owner/chef of Gjelina restaurant in Venice, whose latest hot spot, Gjusta, earned 2nd place honors in Bon Appetit’s list of 2015 best new restaurants. Lett’scookbook was a must-have this year for holiday gifts. And who better to turn to now for our New Year’s resolution to eat more vegetables. You can’t imagine how easy it is to make cauliflower come alive beyond traditional roasting – high heat, a splash of vinegar, an herb and some craftiness.

My husband gave me the Gjelina cookbook for Christmas. It was on my Amazon wish list that I made for him, for me. For years, I was troubled about giving him a Christmas list. Just ask my sister, whose mastery of Christmas present gift-giving and truly the entire holiday season, wants our lists in like October. It’s why her presents arrive before Christmas and I have a few post-holiday stragglers. For my husband, whose yearend rivals that of an accountant in April, we all make it easier for him. Sometimes I think just give me what you think I will like (spouse fail setup), on the other hand, my list helps you get to know me better like a how-to manual. He enlists my daughter to wrap and I give him a list on Amazon that’s three clicks away from being done. This year, I even boughta pair of pants that I had gift-wrapped and told Kendall to say she bought it for me. I then practiced my delight response for when I opened that gift from me, from him. I appreciate all his hard work to making our Christmas possible and if three clicks is all he can fit in, I will take it. Maybe next year, in addition to cookbooks, I’ll lace the list with items like this, this,this,this,andthisto see if he’s really paying attention.


gjiffy roasted cauliflower w/ vinegar

The recipe calls for garlic confit, another recipe to prepare. It’s worth the time and very little effort to make, plus you’ll have it on-hand for other dishes. In the spirit of crunchtime, however, I’ve offered an easier way to achieve nearly the same result. I also prepared it in a 450° toaster oven that doesn’t quite reach the recommended temperature. Guessing I was lighter on a sear or caramelization, but didn’t seem to be a compromise.

preptime: 10 min serves 4-6 (side dish)

seartime: 3 min

roasttime: 8 min

  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup extra olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed and rough chopped (or 3 cloves, chopped from garlic confit, recipe below)
  • 2 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 500°.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss cauliflower with 1/4 cup olive oil and generously season with (kosher) salt and (freshly ground) pepper.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron or heavy bottom pan that fits in your oven, over high heat.
  4. Add the cauliflower mixture into the hot pan and cook for 3 minutes until it’s starting to brown.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the cauliflower, undisturbed, until well seared, about 5 minutes longer.
  6. With a spatula, turn the cauliflower and cook on the other side until well seared, about 3 minutes longer.
  7. In the meantime, mix the red pepper flakes and vinegar.
  8. Remove the cauliflower from the oven, add garlic and stir gently to enable the garlic to warm and slightly cook.
  9. Add red pepper flakes and vinegar mixture and parsley, combine.
  10. Serve immediately.


  • use packaged cauliflower florets & chopped garlic products

recipe adapted from Gjelina cookbook and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

Garlic confit

preptime: 5 min makes 2 cups

baketime: 45 min-1 hour

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled (fast way)
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 small bay leaves, bruised
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a medium baking dish, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. The garlic should be completely covered by the oil.
  3. Bake for 45-60 minutes until the cloves are soft but still hold their shape.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, completely covered in olive oil.


  1. Leslie Howard says Jan 12th 2016 10:15 am

    The goat feed is out of stock so you’ll need to pick something else. If you use the confit do you still take 3 of the roasted cloves for the cauliflower recipe?

    • Sherri says Jan 12th 2016 12:32 pm

      Thank you. I’ve modified within the recipe and yes, it’s 3 cloves from the the confit as well. Hmmm what else do goat’s eat?

Leave a Reply