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Top Chef Hung Huynh's Pro-Tip For Upgrading Roasted Cauliflower

Chef Hung Huynh smiling in hat
Chef Hung Huynh smiling in hat - Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

Those trying to cut back on their meat and starch intake might turn to whole-roasted cauliflower or cauliflower steaks as a healthy main or hearty side. When cooked just right, the cruciferous vegetable can take on a meaty texture. Meanwhile, its mild flavor soaks up butter, garlic, and other ingredients beautifully.

Though it's been trendy in the past couple of years, giving cauliflower the spotlight is not a brand-new thing. Back in 2015, nine years after taking home the gold on the third season of Bravo's "Top Chef," Vietnamese-American Chef Hung Huynh cooked up a version for none other than "Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively. His version included pomegranate seeds, the tart winter fruit that happens to be taking over TikTok right now.

Lively raved about it on her former lifestyle website per Bravo, writing, "Once Chef Hung touches cauliflower, it becomes the heart of a beautiful winter medley." Here's how the chef tackled the dish.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

Crack Open A Pomegranate

Whole and split pomegranates on dark background
Whole and split pomegranates on dark background - Fani Kurti/Getty Images

Soon after tantalizing her Instagram followers with a photo of the chef's roasted cauliflower with pomegranate seeds, Blake Lively passed the recipe along to People so her fans could make it at home.

After blanching two whole heads of cauliflower (any color will do), tossing them with olive oil and bold spices like truffle salt, and letting them get nice and brown in the oven, the dish is tossed in a flavorful vinaigrette with ingredients like rice wine vinegar, paprika, and plump golden raisins. To cap it all off, the cauliflower gets showered with pomegranate seeds, grated parmesan, and toasted pine nuts.

The result is a sweet and savory dish that, according to Lively, "could almost be a fake potato" thanks to the inclusion of cheese. If it were us, we might add a little splash of pomegranate juice to the vinaigrette to drive the message home.

Make It Your Own

Heads of white cauliflower
Heads of white cauliflower - Alantobey/Getty Images

We can't say for sure who made the world's first roasted cauliflower with pomegranate, but one thing's for sure — Chef Hung Huynh was not the last. Recipes aside, any intrepid home cook knows that some of the best meals are the ones that favor experimentation over exact measurements. To that end, there are plenty of ways to play with the combination of cauliflower and pomegranates at home.

To amp up the nuttiness of Huynh's version and add a touch of creaminess, try drizzling tahini over the dish. The sesame paste is terrific alongside sweet ingredients, hence its place in so many desserts, from halvah to brownies. For a little extra bulk, add some chickpeas to the roasting pan. They'll get nice and crispy, making for a satisfying bite alongside poppable pomegranate seeds.

Don't feel like chewing? Our recipe for cauliflower-cashew soup with pomegranate seeds offers a cozy, creamy take on the pairing with the help of coconut milk.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.