If you read my review of the fabulous restaurant Pardes, you may have noticed that my meal started off unconventionally, with a giant cup of smoked paprika popcorn. That stuff was so incredible that I went back for more. And more. And then I pulled my popcorn machine out from the basement and I even made my own. And finally, I realized that if I don’t stop with my smoked paprika popcorn addiction, I will need to check myself into a 12-step program for popcorn addicts.
I realized that what I really loved most about the popcorn, wasn’t the popcorn at all. It was the amazing smokiness of the paprika. I’m a huge fan of smoked paprika in general. I put it in my cholent, sprinkle it generously over my roasted chickpeas, and slather it all over my roasted chicken. So, I decided to come up with a healthier, less carby version of my favorite Pardes treat, using cauliflower to mimic the popcorn. And that’s how this delicious healthy version of smokey “popcorn” cauliflower came about. Don’t be shy with the paprika, douse it on heavily for optimum smokey flavor! This stuff is great for snacking or served alongside a piece of grilled chicken or steak!
Smoked Paprika Popcorn Cauliflower
2 heads cauliflower, cut into florets
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, add oil, paprika and salt and whisk to combine. Add the cauliflower and stir until the florets are well coated. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet (or 2 sheets, if needed) and bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the florets begin to brown around the edges.