This is both filling and very satisfying. It comes from Lidey Heuck in NYTimes Cooking. It doesn’t take much time to cook it, but do take the time to make the rosemary oil, as that is very much the key ingredient.
For 2-4 servings you’ll need x1 medium head of cauliflower (cored and broken into 1.5″ pieces), 1 quart vegetable stock, 1/2 day old baguette (cut into 3/4″ chunks), 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil, x4 4″ springs of fresh rosemary, 1 medium onion (chopped), x3 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped), grated zest of 1 lemon, salt and pepper.
First, make the rosemary oil. Place 1/2 cup olive oil into a cast iron or other heavy skillet. Over medium heat add the rosemary sprigs, making sure it is not too hot – you don’t want to fry them, just heat them. Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until wilted and fragrant. Remove the whole skillet from the heat and set it aside to allow it to cool slightly. Once it is cooler, pour oil and rosemary together into a bowl and set aside to completely cool to room temperature.
Keep a “sheen” of oil in the skillet and do not clean it out (you will use this to make the croutons).
In a dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until softened and just beginning to get translucent – about 6-8 mins. Add chopped garlic and stir well to combine until fragrant – about 1 min.
Add cauliflower, stock and a good grinding of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let cook for 10 mins or so until the cauliflower is softened.
Meanwhile, heat the oil still left in the skillet over medium heat. Remove the rosemary sprigs from the oil and pinch the leaves from the stem and add to the heating oil in the skillet. Toss in the chopped bread and stir well to cover the bread in oil and rosemary leaves. Continue to toss/stir until browned and crispy – about 8-10 mins.
Once the cauliflower is soft, add all of the rosemary oil and blend with a hand mixer until smooth throughout. Add another good grinding of salt and pepper and the lemon zest. Stir well to combine everything.
Serve in bowls with croutons on top and sprinkle the browned rosemary leaves all around.