roasted purple cippollini onions + purple cauliflower

roasted purples like lydia never saw them ::::

“A certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one who worshiped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened to listen to the things which were spoken by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay.’ So she persuaded us.”

—Acts 16:14-15 World English Bible



Just as purple merchant Lydia is the first recorded European Christian convert in the New Testament, so was my attempt to convert my kids to healthy food disguised in purple hues. This was more of an experiment than anything, an experiment in how I could convince my somewhat picky eaters to eat what normally would be a boring white onion or cauliflower disguised in the festive, royal hue of purple. Peach is very clear about her love of the color purple.


While it wasn’t a fail, this recipe certainly didn’t have the intended outcome. My children did not suddenly become cauliflower eaters. They didn’t care that it was purple. It smelled funny. They didn’t have a spiritual awakening to purple foods. Stop playing God, Mommy. They will come to cauliflower when they are ready. 


The power of the foodblogger prayer, perhaps. I must be patient. In the meantime, will eat the anti-oxidant rich vegetables, thinking of the purple epiphanies of Lydia.


roasted purple cippollini onions + purple cauliflower
Recipe type: vegetable
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into ~1 inch florets
  • 5-6 purple cippollini onions, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (and more after tasting)
  • pepper
  • ½ cup Parmesan, grated
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat onions liberally with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place in baking pan.
  2. Roast for ~20 minutes, turning half-way through. Depending on the size of your onions, you may have to roast longer. Roast until softened and muted purple in color. Remove and set aside.
  3. Reset oven to 450 degrees F.
  4. Toss cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, and salt. Roast in another pan (separate from onions) for 15 to 20 minutes. They will be done when the color is brilliant purple and florets are fork-tender.
  5. Add Parmesan and roast another 5 to 10 minutes to melt.
  6. A drizzle of fine quality balsamic vinegar adds a nice tang. A drizzle of truffle oil might turn a few naysayers.


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