This Bloody Cauliflower Brain Is the Centerpiece Your Halloween Wants

By way of no fault of its personal, the humble cauliflower appears to be like a large amount like a mind (or at minimum the most brain-like out of all the vegetables). Its bumpy, lobed appearance and spherical form all scream “I came from a cranium,” but its pale, beige hue ordinarily keeps matters from experience too visceral.

The actual coloration of a human mind differs, dependent on no matter if the man or woman it belongs to is alive and how considerably oxygen it is getting: They can be pink, crimson, yellow, grey, and even black, but a cartoonish pink is the most efficient for building things that are not brains seem like brains. (Grey is a close next, but I did not want to make a grey cauliflower.)

Turning a head of cauliflower into a bloody mind is pretty uncomplicated. Like all of my preferred full, roasted cauliflowers, this 1 starts with a easy 10% salt brine, only this brine is colored with beets.

Adding a beet to the brine makes it pink, which, in flip, can make the cauliflower pink (and delicious). Roast the brined cauliflower in a pan with a few much more beets—to get all those beautiful minor “blood” splotches—and you have a creepy seeking, incidentally vegan edible centerpiece.

How to make a bloody beet-brined brain


  • 1/2 liter of water
  • 100 grams kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 beet, sliced skinny
  • 500 grams of ice
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 beets, chopped into 1-inch pieces

Incorporate the water, salt, sugar, and beets to a sauce pan and deliver to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt, then remove from the heat and add ice, stirring to melt. Put the cauliflower in a bowl or other container and pour the brine—beets and all—over the cauliflower, then pop the whole factor in the fridge right away.

Take away the cauliflower from the brine and allow it drain over paper towels, stalk aspect down, for at least five minutes. Flip it around and allow drain for a different 5 minutes. (Matty Matheson lets his brined cauliflowers air dry on a rack for a pair of several hours, which you are also welcome to do, but I under no circumstances have.)

Heat your oven to 375℉. Drizzle the bottom of the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then put it in a roasting pan, and surround it with the beets. Use a pan that is just significant sufficient to accommodate the veggies, so the beets continue to be in get hold of with the sides of the cauliflower.

Pour the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil on top of the cauliflower and beets, and rub it all over on the leading of the cauliflower to make absolutely sure it is coated. Roast for 1-2 hours, till the cauliflower can be effortlessly pierced with a slender, sharp knife (which will rely on its sizing). Go over with foil if it commences to brown far too quickly—I generally have to do this about half an hour in.

Eliminate the cauliflower mind from the oven and let it interesting for a couple of minutes. If it does not seem bloody enough, you can dab it with the roasted beets to give it a number of extra splotches. You can also use a thick hot sauce (these as sriracha) to build a longitudinal fissure if you’re so inclined. Carve into wedges and serve, if possible with this roasted beet dip.


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