Charred Garam Masala Romanesco
Many cuisines around the world have a staple spice mix - Chinese five spice, Middle Eastern baharat, Ethopian berbere, Moroccan ras el Hanout, and Indian garam masala. These blends of many of the defining flavors in those cuisines are some of my go-tos for a quick weeknight meal. If I only have 30 minutes or so to make dinner, these mixes lend a ton of flavor without a lot of fuss.
Garam masala is one of those wonder spice mixes, found in every Indian spice cabinet. There are so many individual spices in garam masala, that you get a lot of different flavor notes in one little mix. It is also one of those spice mixes with a ton of different recipes - everyone has their own version depending on the region of India you’re in. Most garam masala will have some cumin, coriander, black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves, and nutmeg but again, it can vary quite a bit. For instance, North Indians will add the bold black cardamom and East Indians will add the sweeter fennel.
Garam masala is featured in pretty much every Indian/Indian-inspired dish on my blog but I thought why not try it just by itself on some roasted vegetables. To my delight the romanesco at the grocery store was cheaper than broccoli or cauliflower so that’s what I’ve opted for here but you can use any one of the three. The ingredients list is tiny and produces a charred, crispy vegetable side that is such a great accompaniment to any meal. If you’re the meal-prepping type, this would also go well in a weekday lunch box. I opted to squeeze some lemon over mine but it also does well with tzatziki or a simple yogurt sauce, like the one I shared a while ago (okay wow, I guess I love roasting cauliflower and cauliflower-adjacent things?).
1 head romanesco, broccoli, or cauliflower
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garam masala
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 a lemon
Cut the romanesco into bite-size pieces. Spread on a large cookie sheet, leaving as much room as possible between each piece.
In a small bowl, mix the garam masala and olive oil. Drizzle this over the romanesco and toss to mix well. Sprinkle with salt (I use Kosher salt).
Place in the heated oven and cook for 35-40 mins. Remove from the oven and squeeze half a lemon over the vegetables. Toss well, add more salt if needed, and serve!