Roasted cauliflower

Cut up cauliflowerAfter I posted about the Union Square Greenmarket, I have to admit, I was surprised by the clamoring for instruction on roasting cauliflower. I’m glad of it – cauliflower always seems to me to be some kind of stepchild in the world of vegetables: no one pays nearly enough attention to it.

Cauliflower, though, if prepared properly, need not be ignored. And as far as I’m concerned, by properly, I mean roasted.

I know there are plenty of devotees of the steamed variety, and there are plenty of folks who like their cauliflower topped with some kind of cheese sauce or whatever. But at the end of the day, I will stake roasted cauliflower against any of that.

Why? Because it tastes freaking awesome. It’s crispy and crunchy in places, soft in others. It’s caramelized and therefore terrific.

Don’t believe me? Give this recipe a try. You will not regret it.

Roasted cauliflowerRoasted cauliflower
(Serves 4, unless there are two of you who find it eminently tasty, in which case it serves 2)

1 head of cauliflower (white, orange, purple, green…any color cauliflower will work well in this recipe)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Chop up a head of cauliflower. Don’t be too compulsive about it—evenly-sized pieces are fine, even if they are not perfect florets.
  3. Put the cauliflower in a roasting pan or baking pan that will withstand high heat and drizzle it with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss.
  4. Roast for approximately 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cauliflower is getting well-browned. Do not short-change this step! Shake the pan once or twice during cooking.
  5. Serve immediately.

This is my contribution for this week’s edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted by Paulchen of Paulchen’s Food Blog. This is the last one of the season, folks…be sure to check out the round-up.

22 Responses to “Roasted cauliflower”

  1. 1 Kalyn December 16, 2007 at 10:14 am

    I agree completely, roasted cauliflower is the best! I finally got around to trying it with that Moroccan spice seasoning I’ve become so infatuated with and that version was great too.

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener December 16, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Kalyn, that sounds amazing! I have some Tandoori spice that I bet would be great with it — I’ll have to try that next…

  3. 3 Heather December 16, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Interesting. I’ve never had roasted cauliflower, the concept has never even crossed my mind. If I weren’t neck high in Christmas cookies (cookie swap tomorrow evening), I’d give it a shot.

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener December 16, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    Heather, roasted cauliflower would actually be a good antidote to that ick feeling that comes from eating too much raw cookie dough. (I’m not saying you get that…but I know I certainly do when I’m doing a mad cookie bake!) It’s a little sweet from the caramelization, but still a healthy vegetable…kind of balances things out! Good luck with that baking!

  5. 5 healthnerd December 16, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Oh, I have been looking for different vegetable recipes. This is awesome. I have tried cauliflower steamed, boiled, mashed and liked all of them. Thanks for the recipe.

    Enjoyed your blog.

  6. 6 inadvertentgardener December 16, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Healthnerd, mashed is another way I like cauliflower, but this definitely tops that. If you like the other preparations, you’ll love this — I promise!

  7. 7 Jeanne December 17, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    Roasted cauliflowr is the best – I like that suggestion of using Moroccam spices! That’s sounds quite good!
    I like roasting wedges red onion along with the cauliflower and adding some minced garlic.

  8. 8 inadvertentgardener December 17, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Jeanne, ooh…I love the idea of throwing red onion wedges and garlic in there. That would be incredible tasty!

  9. 9 Rosie December 17, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Eugenia – Sounds delicious. And here’s another idea for cauliflower, similar to a South Beach Diet recipe, which makes it a more palatable and interesting dish than plain steamed cauliflower: Steam as much cauliflower as you want until it’s soft, either mash by hand or in a food processor(if you want a puree’), add slivers of butter or margarine(or use butter spray), a bit of fat free half n’ half, and salt and pepper to taste. Tastes like mashed potatoes with a “zing”.

  10. 10 inadvertentgardener December 18, 2007 at 8:36 am

    Rosie, I’ve heard of that recipe, but have never tried it. Will definitely try it out, because it’s always struck me as a good way to put cauliflower to use, too!

  11. 11 wayne December 20, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    I will try it too. My students and I have been having our annual struggle with what to order from seed catalogs… some are clamoring for an attempt at cauliflower– and are intrigued by the orange.

  12. 12 inadvertentgardener December 20, 2007 at 10:29 pm

    Wayne, if you guys grow orange cauliflower, I definitely want to hear about it — that stuff has the best color!

  13. 13 Ginni December 22, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. I love cauliflower and this would be great for my diet. I’m going to try tossing in a handful of garlic cloves to roast along with it.


  14. 14 inadvertentgardener December 22, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    Ginni, let me know how it turns out! I definitely need to try the with-garlic option.

  15. 15 Me January 6, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    I’ve never had roasted cauliflower and when I saw this recipe I hurried to the grocery store – with cauliflower at three dollars a head I decided to wait.

    We went to my in-laws in Ca for Christmas and so I brought recipes and spices for four meals (they never cook only carry-out and restaurant dining and we get extremely tired of that). I also brought your recipe.

    The first time I made it (every time was for four adults and three children) we ate three heads and wanted more. We liked it so much the next time we made a meal I made it again. We bought four heads – still not enough. The final time I did six heads. We still ate it all. However, I have to confess it was the lightest meal I made. I served Balsamic Vinegar and Dried Tomato Chicken, Garam Masala Yams, and Roasted Cauliflower

    By the way – you might want to mention that one should be careful opening the oven to shake the cauliflower around – I was stupid and steam-burned my face! (Just a warning for fools like me. ;) )

    I came home and when I went shopping I checked out the price of cauliflower it is now up to four bucks. :(

    Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  16. 16 inadvertentgardener January 6, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Me, you do have to watch out for the steam burns — I hope you’re OK and there was no permanent damage! And I’m so very, very glad you and your family liked it! I’m honored that you brought the recipe to a holiday visit, even without having tried it before you left — that’s both brave and, well, inspiring. Thank you for your confidence in the post!

  17. 17 leah April 26, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    hi all,
    i do this with frozen cauliflower. works great! … have also roasted frozen broccli, brussel sprouts, mixed veggies (corn, peas, green beans)… all turned out fabulous and I’m thrilled to have a good way to eat my veggies,
    all the best,
    leah in atlanta

  18. 18 inadvertentgardener April 26, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Leah, I’ve never ever tried this with the frozen stuff — interesting to know that it works well, too. Especially the corn/peas/green beans combo — I would never have even thought to try that!

  1. 1 Reader Input: In Search of Favorite Vegetable Recipes « Natural-Wellness Trackback on December 18, 2007 at 6:13 pm
  2. 2 [Weekend Herb Blogging] - Recap *update* | Paulchens FoodBlog?! Trackback on December 19, 2007 at 3:52 pm
  3. 3 Roasted Cauliflower – Roads to Everywhere Trackback on July 1, 2016 at 9:36 am
  4. 4 Roasted Cauliflower – Karla Ezell Cook Trackback on October 17, 2016 at 1:28 am

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