Every year I celebrate Thanksgiving at my parents’ house, with about 25 of our relatives and closest friends. Collectively we’re an adventurous bunch when it comes to food, but in the case of Thanksgiving, people are reluctant to stray from the traditional lineup of turkey, green bean casserole and potatoes every possible way. (Though last year, I did manage to sneak a raw Brussels sprouts salad onto the menu!)

Since I’m locked into the staples on Thanksgiving Day, I always look at Friendsgiving (that is, pre-Thanksgiving dinner parties with my closest friends) as a chance to try something that wouldn’t fly at the real meal. This year I’ve chosen roasted cauliflower. No, it’s not that unusual a dish, but its seasonings stray from the usual Thanksgiving flavors.

The turmeric gives the dish an appealing, yellow hue, and the breadcrumbs lend it a nice crunch. Roasting the cauliflower on the lowest rack in your oven helps it get nicely browned on one side, giving it a deeply caramelized flavor. Try this dish for your Friendsgiving, or anytime you want a side dish that strays from the norm but is familiar enough to appeal to everyone at your table.

Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Breadcrumbs

Serves 4

1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon cayenne red pepper
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced parsley (or another herb, like mint or cilantro)
2 tablespoons chopped golden raisins

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Place rimmed baking sheet on lowest oven rack while oven preheats.

2. Whisk together vegetable oil, cumin, turmeric, salt and red pepper in large bowl. Add cauliflower florets to bowl and stir until florets are evenly coated. Carefully remove baking sheet from oven and transfer cauliflower to it in one layer, cut sides down. Return pan to oven and bake until florets are cooked through and bottoms are golden brown, between 35 and 40 minutes, turning baking sheet halfway through cooking.

3. Meanwhile, combine breadcrumbs and olive oil in small skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

4. Transfer cooked cauliflower to serving plate. Sprinkle with some breadcrumbs, reserving leftovers for people to use on their own servings. Sprinkle with raisins and serve.

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