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hello weekend

Recipe: roasted cauliflower

So what does everyone have on tap for the weekend? There is snow in our forecast, which is always a very welcome event and I have heaps of projects to keep me busy when I’m not swooshing about. I am looking forward to making a few non-Chinese recipes this weekend because all I have eaten this past week is Chinese food. I understand that a large percentage of Chinese people eat Chinese food not just for one whole week, but for the entirety of their lives. I am not one of them. Otherwise this blog would have been named something else – certainly not use real butter.

scoping out the path of greatest powder at breckenridge

and away he goes

But before I blow this popsicle stand, I have a quick and easy recipe to share. The cauliflower elicits enough enthusiasm from people who love food, but for the general populace, there is an inevitable indifference or even dislike of the dense florets. That’s a shame. Far too many humble vegetables get short shrift because they aren’t well-prepared.

start with a head of cauliflower

Did you know that the cauliflower is an actual flower? It’s a brassica and I looooooove my brassicas like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, kale… I’ve seen photos of gorgeous purple and green romanesco cauliflower heads that look almost too pretty to eat. Almost. If I ever get my hands on one, I’ll let you know.

cut florets

adding minced garlic

I like cauliflower raw, in soups, steamed, stir-fried, but I had yet to try them roasted. I have only started roasting vegetables in the past 5 years. It’s one of my favorite ways to prepare vegetables because it intensifies the flavor. When I made that rack of lamb last month, I figured it was time to roast some cauliflower.

pouring olive oil


Most of the recipes online call for adding cheese to the cauliflower, but I was having none of that. I don’t have a particularly strong attachment to cheese, so I ousted it and kept the recipe rather basic – olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon. That is good stuff. Have a great weekend and please do eat your vegetables.

roasty toasty goodness

Roasted Cauliflower
[print recipe]
slightly modified from Simply Recipes

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lemon, juice of (to taste)
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the cauliflower and garlic in a baking dish so that the florets can sit in a single layer. Drizzle lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper over the cauliflower. Toss to coat. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until fork tender. Serve hot.

45 nibbles at “hello weekend”

  1. Lisa says:

    This seems an easy vegetable to prepare for guests. I definitely will try it next time when we entertain dinner guests. Have a great weekend.

  2. Kara says:

    My hubs and I love, love, love to roast cauliflower! We fight each other for the small little crispy bits. So, delish! I’m glad to see someone else has been converted into a roasted cauliflower lover. People think it sounds odd, but always gobble it up when we serve it. Our local indian restaurant turned us on to roasted cauliflower naan. Oh. My. Goodness.

  3. Trent says:

    I used to hate cauliflower until maybe two months ago. First I had it pickled which was a revelation. Then I decided I would roast some up myself. Now I find myself making cauliflower soup (excellent with crisp fried red beet chips), and roasting cauliflower as a snack. Amazing how a bad childhood experience set me back to this point. By the way, in the Momofuku book there’s an interesting sauce they toss their roasted cauliflower in. Its heavy on the fish sauce but quite delicious.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I like my roasted cauliflower even more minimalist. Olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 450 for 20 minutes, flipping at the half way point. Like caramelized cauliflower candy. So good.

  5. Tartelette says:

    Cheese with roasted cauliflower? “Sacre Bleu NON!”…ahahah. Glad you didn’t go for it. I could eat 2 whole heads in one sitting of this stuff.
    Easy and wholesome…like I like it :)

  6. Sarah says:

    In my experience, the fancy-pants romanesco ones taste much the same as the normal ones, they’re just prettier. Do you have purple-sprouting broccoli over there? It looks very pretty (lovely purple flowery ends which go green once the heat hits them) but doesn’t taste like normal broccoli, it’s more kale-y, so you’d probably love it.

  7. Hannah says:

    Oh, how I wish I had access to an oven right now! In the meantime, I shall continue enjoying my cauliflower raw (in hostels, you see), and admiring your enjoyment of skiing while wanting nothing to do with snow myself :P

  8. Katie says:

    I just bought a head of cauliflower yesterday- perfect timing! This looks perfect, exactly what I will do with it. Thanks for the beautiful recipes and photos as always!

  9. Erin says:

    @Tartelette – Agree no cheese needed on roasted cauli, but oooh so good in smashed cauli :)

  10. Pam says:

    My family loves roasted cauliflower. Never added lemon juice before but will have to try it. I pretty much roast all my veggies now. Try asparagus or green beans, awesome.

  11. Paula says:

    Looks scrumptious! I love cauliflower but can’t get my husband to eat it. Maybe this recipe will convince my him that he doesn’t really hate cauliflower!

  12. Zach says:

    I love giving this same treatment to broccoli. Its even better on the grill!

  13. marla {family fresh cooking} says:

    Love the ski photos! Finally I come across another foodie blogger who loves the snow. I try to get out to Telluride, CO as much as possible. Love it and hope to live there some day.
    Also, love roast cauliflower. Great to see your photos here and the simple, perfect recipe. No it doesn’t need cheese :)

  14. Megan says:

    Oh man, I just finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and your post totally reminded me of the book — in it they use cauliflower to bait traps to catch zombies. The zombies think that the cauliflower looks just like fresh brains to eat, so they are always lured into the traps thinking they are getting brains to eat! This post and your pictures were just too funny for me with those images in my head. :)

  15. Bethany says:

    Lovely and simple! Roasting veggies is my favorite way to eat them… and your post reminded me why! Haven’t tried it with cauliflower yet, though. The lemon is a wonderful addition!

  16. Janet says:

    My favorite way to roast cauliflower is with a little Indian curry paste stirred into the oil. Yum!
    Glad to see someone waxing rhapsodic about veggies.
    If you ever want to do the cheese and cauliflower thing, think cauliflower gratin. Good, but in a whole different way. More like macaroni and cheese.
    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!

  17. kristina says:

    we would ask our mom, “are we having rice, again?” now, i kind of miss having rice every night. i miss it less when i have something made with butter. i hear ya, sister.

  18. my spatula says:

    i’m with you…cauliflower with cheese smeared on it…yak. love the simplicity of the roasting and light seasoning.

  19. dawn says:

    you know, you are the only person that can make cauliflower look THIS good.

  20. Wendy says:

    All the cauliflower I’ve eaten before is always just boiled and tasteless so I never really cared for it, but this way of preparing cauliflower looks interesting and makes it look delicious to eat (especially that golden brown floret)…I might be a convert!

  21. Daiming Zhu says:

    Yum! I’m new to blogging and my mum makes cauliflower by stir-frying them with tomato sauce. It’s delish.

  22. knitopia says:

    I have some orange cauliflower in my kitchen right now! It was the same price as the white stuff, so how could I not go for it? I love eating it roasted and always want more!

  23. Margaret O'Farrell says:

    I love roasted cauliflower…. and often do a combination of cauliflower and broccoli roasted together and throw over some cumin seeds! Yum!

  24. Linda says:

    Oh, yes! You just figured out my dinner after my day of tele-skiing! I’ll pull out a little OG chicken from the freezer to thaw before I head out, and I have a beautiful cauliflower in the fridge. I always roast it…yummm…but never added the garlic & lemon, so I can’t wait to try.

  25. Lauren says:

    Roasting is the only method of cooking cauliflower that I use these days! It has completely changed my view of the usually boring vegetable. I like to cut the head into “slices” to optimize crispiness. Yum!

  26. Mrs Ergül says:

    As much as I love my Chinese food, I won’t be able to stick with just that all my life! And you know what?! I will be getting a pretty head of cauliflower pretty soon. And I will not be including any cheese in it! I am not a fan!

  27. Denise@There's a Newf in My Soup says:

    Right now, at 7:25 a.m., I want to be on my way to the slopes too! Roasted vegetables are great. Enjoy your day…

  28. Kristin says:

    Oh yum. I have part of a cauliflower left after grating a bunch on salad. Must roast it. You know what’s really great? Roasted cauliflower, red peppers & onions served on hummus. Wonder if I have any cans of garbanzos in the pantry…

  29. lynn @ human, being says:

    I keep buying cauliflower and letting it go bad in the fridge. I think I’ll cook this tomorrow night.

  30. ButterYum says:

    I did this recently with garlic and onion – wow was it ever good!!!


  31. Maninas says:

    I’ll give this ago. Currently, I’m not too convinced about cauliflower, but I’m willing to expand my horizons.

  32. Georgia.Pellegrini says:

    Cauliflower seems to be all the rage these day. This recipe seems so simple, but absolutely tasty. Garlic is the miracle worker.

  33. Silvia says:

    Everytime I see some nice cauliflower at the supermarket I buy 2 heads: one for soup and one for roasting. I just use pepper, salt, paprika and olive oil to roast cauliflower, but I have used garlic and lime juice for roasting broccoli and it’s awesome. Food should be like that – simple and divine. Have a great weekend Jen!

  34. joey says:

    I agree with the roasting — it is definitely my favorite way to prepare vegetables! Flavors intensified, edges toasty, natural sugars caramelized….MMM! Will try this when next I’ve got cauliflower!

  35. Rachel says:

    Roasted cauliflower. So simple, yet so delicious (and more complicated-tasting).

  36. Manggy says:

    Always loved cauliflower since I was a kid – or maybe I lucked out and they have always been well-prepared in my home..?

  37. Beatrice says:

    I’ve been roasting mine with garlic and tumeric. I bet the curry paste Janet mentioned would be good, too. Roasted cauliflower is quickly becoming one of my favorite last-minute meals.

  38. Ruth says:

    Wow, looks really good. I will have to try…

  39. Leigh says:

    Your skiing photos are lovely. I’m going to be at Breckenridge with my boyfriend in a matter of days (we leave on Friday), and I’m so excited!

  40. ally says:

    I started roasted vegetables only a couple years back as well. I find that if you roast cauliflower with a hint of balsamic vinegar, it is quite aromatic and delicious. the balsamic caramalizes and gives the cauliflower more of that slightly charred goodness. Havent done this in a while, but will do it again soon. BTW, I dont know how I came across your blog, but I love it! Been reading and keepin up for a few months now.

  41. Michelle says:

    Love roasted cauliflower. And what a great pic of the cauliflower on the fork!

  42. Dana says:

    Oh yum! Sounds wonderful. I love your recipes which include citrus.

  43. jackie says:

    we make this all the time! i like it with whole cloves of garlic (lot of ’em) and a handful of chopped fresh rosemary. :)

  44. Diana Banana says:

    I had this last night, roasted with carrots! I also sprinkled turmeric, cumin, dried ginger and smashed garlic cloves in as well, my version of ghetto-curry-paste :)

  45. jenyu says:

    Glad to know there are so many other cauliflower enthusiasts out there :) I really really want to try some of those gorgeous purple or green versions.

    Trent – pickled sounds awesome! Will have to give that a try and also the cauliflower soup. Thanks for the rec, I just got the Momofuku book in the mail today :)

    Sarah – I haven’t looked for the purple sprouting broccoli – will keep eyes peeled at the farmers market!

    Maria – Telluride is amazingly beautiful – I love it there.

    Megan – ha ha ha! I will have to look into reading that!

    Wendy – there are few vegetables that taste good after being boiled to death :(

    Ally – thanks and welcome to urb!

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