Day One: Roasted Cauliflower ♥ Recipe

Tips and tricks for roasting cauliflower, one of the classics of roasted vegetables, especially in winter.

Roasted Cauliflower was the very first recipe that launched the year-long odyssey called A Veggie Venture. Since then, it's a recipe that I've made again and again, some times without thinking, some times paying close attention. Here's what I've learned.

Roasting cauliflower -- roasting it well, anyway -- takes more than just chopping up a head of cauliflower and throwing it into a hot oven. A few tricks and techniques really make the difference between great roasted cauliflower and so-so roasted cauliflower.

Cauliflower needs to be cut into bite-size pieces, otherwise the cooking time is really lengthened.
When cutting the cauliflower, cut through the florets to create flat surfaces that will more easily caramelize against the hot pan. It's a little fussy but when putting the cauliflower onto the pan for the first time, place the cut sides down.
Stir the cauliflower really well before cooking to fully distribute the olive oil; a big bowl helps, so does using your hands.
Like many vegetables, cauliflower shrinks when it roasts. A large head will feed four people but honestly, one hungry cauliflower lover could maybe gobble it all down!
To make roasted cauliflower a little bit ahead, roast for an hour at 350F. This will 'cook' the cauliflower but not brown it. Just before supper is served, blast the cauliflower at high heat 400F or 425F or even 450F for 5 - 10 minutes, just to rewarm and add some color and caramelization.
Fresh cauliflower is wonderful roasted, frozen cauliflower, not so good.

NUTRITION NOTES I've tried using less oil to roast the cauliflower, including by attempting to 'stretch' the oil with chicken broth as a delivery vehicle. But it just doesn't work, the olive oil is needed to encourage the deep roasting. I've been able to get it down to two tablespoons per large head, by combining the cauliflower and oil really well but more oil means the cauliflower becomes especially dark and caramelized and roasts more quickly -- and has many more calories. Life is full of choices!

~recipe & photo updated 2010~


TESTIMONIALS
"[My husband] encouraged our veggie-phobic 4-year-old, 'I don't like cauliflower either, but it tastes like popcorn.'" ~ MomJamin
"It was very tasty and good." ~ Didi
"I made this over the long weekend, and it was absolutely fantastic! Hands down, the BEST way to serve cauliflower!" ~ Gilly
"What a delicious recipe, especially for a South Beach dieter like me." ~ Sunny
"It was so good! I wished that I had 2 or 3 heads of cauliflower, I could have eaten it all." ~ Dazbee


RECIPE for ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

Hands-on time: 5 minutes + occasional stirring
Time to table: 50 minutes
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets

Set oven to 425F. Stir together all ingredients in large bowl until cauliflower is uniformly coated with oil. Transfer to baking sheet in single layer (use a second sheet if needed). Roast 35 – 45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes for last 15 minutes, until cauliflower is dark brown but not burned.



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11 comments:

I wasn't a blog reader (not anyone's) when you posted this, so forgive my delayed response. Wanting to do something with cauliflower besides steaming it, and maybe adding some cheese, I tried your description of roasting. DH, who admits to not being a cauliflower fan, likes this and has even bought more cauliflower on one of his rare shopping trips, for me to roast. As he encouraged our veggie-phobic 4-year-old, "I don't like cauliflower either, but it tastes like popcorn." (I do like cauliflower in general, and this is my new favorite method.)

Oh MomJamin ~ How you've made my day!! Did you notice that this was the very very very first entry on A Veggie Venture? Even I wasn't reading blogs! So glad that roasting cauliflower works for you, it really does for me, too, and you've reminded me that I've not done it in a long while! Thanks for taking the time to write, you can't know the world it means.

I am making this tonight. Possibly with some parmesan cheese stirred in at the very end.

Loved seeing the comments people have sent you.

Hi!
Found this site today, and i made today Roasted Cauliflower. It was very tasty and good.
Such a delicious recipe, thank you very much! :-)

p.s. sorry for english, not my native language...

Hi Didi ~ So glad it worked for you, it's a GREAT place to start with vegetables, for sure. (And your English is just fine, please don't worry!)

Hi Alanna - I made this over the long weekend, and it was absolutely fantastic! Hands down, the BEST way to serve cauliflower! I snapped a couple pics and hope to blog about it soon! Thanks!

(...and I made a version of your hot-crossed buns from KP which I just blogged about - they were wonderful too - thank you!)

my daughter passed on this recipe. although not a big cauliflower fan, i tried it tonight and loved it enough to ask her where it came from. you! thanks.

What a delicious recipe, especially for a South Beach dieter like me.

The odd thing was, I followed the directions exactly, and mine was done in 20 minutes. I mean, the cauliflower was soft but yet browned and a little crispy, and the garlic was soooo good!

This is one of my new favorite dishes that I'll be preparing often. I'm going to make it with the brussel sprouts the next time!
Thanks for a GREAT recipe!

I love reading your recipes! I just wanted to pass along a tidbit.
My 7-year old will reliably eat two veggies only- roasted cauliflower and roasted Brussels sprouts (how funny is that?!). I use frozen of both - I toss 'em in olive oil with garlic, throw them on a sprayed sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and pop them in the toaster oven for a half hour. I don't even thaw them. Simple but it works! Our fresh veggie prices up here during winter are too darn high (though every once in a while I splurge and buy a bunch of asparagus- it's my veggie vice) so I use frozen.

Thanks again for your wonderful recipes!

I was lucky to find this recipe and made it last night. It was so good! I wished that I had 2 or 3 heads of cauliflower, I could have eaten it all. I can't wait to buy more cauliflower!

Since I tried this recipe early January it is a regular request from my husband. Thank you, Alanna

seashell

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna