Eyal Shani's cauliflower has become famous around the world but it's actually quite simple to make. Eyal Shani's cauliflower has become famous around the world but it's actually quite simple to make. Eyal Shani's cauliflower has become famous around the world but it's actually quite simple to make. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

I ate the tastiest vegetable in the world ... and you can, too

One chef's simple recipe turns cauliflower into one of the best meals of your life.

When it comes to ranking my favorite vegetables, cauliflower once appeared nowhere on the list. Despite evidence of it being part of the human diet for thousands of years – citizens of the Roman Empire ate it – nobody, it seems, has managed to concoct a recipe that appeals to my tastebuds.

That is, until I tried Israeli chef Eyal Shani's whole roasted cauliflower. His recipe has turned the vegetable into a powerhouse worldwide. It's been featured in the New York Times, award-winning chefs such as Jamie Oliver and Alon Shaya rave about it, and one of his Tel Aviv, Israel-based restaurants (he has several) is a veritable shrine to it.

Of course, considering all the hype, I had to try one.

So I popped over to Miznon, the Tel Aviv-based cauliflower shrine/restaurant, to buy myself one.

What's probably most impressive about Shani's recipe is its simplicity. All it involves is cooking a small- to medium-sized cauliflower in salted water and then letting it drain. Then you douse it in olive oil and stick it in the oven. That's about it.

But oh, is it good.

At Miznon the cauliflower lines shelves just waiting to be bought. At Miznon the cauliflower lines shelves just waiting to be bought. (Photo: Zach Pontz)

Both salty and smoky, the cauliflower evoked a tender meatiness that's as satisfying as a juicy steak. What's more, Shani insists it be eaten by hand, direction I happily abided and found to be a gratifying break from the whole knife-and-fork routine.

It's a big serving, good for two normal appetites, but I still ate the whole thing. And I felt no shame. Not only was it delicious, it was healthy, too.

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