Cauliflower. Plain, simple, and on its own? Rather unimaginative.
But roasted? Until the edges get all browned and caramelized? Totally different story.
When roasted, cauliflower becomes nutty and buttery, but without any nuts or butter. Roasted, it is the perfect vehicle for garlic, olive oil, lemon and Parmesan.
I grew up with basic steamed cauliflower, which is fine and good and sometimes all that you need. But if you've never had roasted cauliflower, I urge you to try it! It will transform a picky I-don't-like-vegetables eater into a cauliflower addict.
Video: How to Roast Cauliflower
How to Roast Cauliflower
How to Cut and Core Cauliflower
It's easy to cut and core cauliflower! Just pull off the leaves from the base, and cut the cauliflower in quarters, from the top of the crown through the stem. Lay the cauliflower quarters on the cutting board and angle the knife to cut the florets from the core.
Check out this post on how to cut and core cauliflower for the visual guide.
Can You Roast Frozen Cauliflower?
Sure! In fact if you are starting with frozen cauliflower florets, it's better to not defrost them first. Here are some tips to adjust this recipe for frozen cauliflower:
- Raise the oven temperature by 50°F (10°C), to 450°F (232°C). You want searing dry heat to evaporate any ice condensation on the frozen cauliflower, so that the cauliflower roasts in the oven, not steams.
- Toss the florets generously with oil, making sure they are truly well coated, before putting them in the oven. The oil will help the cauliflower edges brown and help keep the florets from drying out.
- Stir the florets half-way through cooking, so more sides get exposed to the high heat.
What to Serve With Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower pairs beautifully as a side for chicken, so consider serving it with roast chicken, or lemon chicken. I also love baked cod or halibut with roasted cauliflower on side. Cauliflower would work well alongside grilled beef too, like these grilled skirt steak skewers.
5 More Ways to Love Cauliflower
- Roasted Curried Cauliflower
- Simple Cauliflower Soup
- Pasta with Cauliflower, Tomato, and Parmesan
- Cauliflower Gnocchi (Trader Joe's Copycat!)
- How to Make the Best Cauliflower Pizza Crust
This recipe is more of a method than a precise recipe with exact amounts. Sprinkle as much or as little Parmesan cheese as you want.
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about half a lemon)
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven, prepare pan:
Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Lightly oil a large roasting pan or baking sheet, or line with aluminum foil.
Prep the cauliflower:
Place the cauliflower florets in a bowl. Toss with minced garlic. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Drizzle with olive oil and toss so that the florets are lightly coated with oil.
Spread on roasting pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper:
Spread the florets out into a single layer on the roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast until lightly browned:
Roast the cauliflower at 400°F (205°C), uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops are lightly brown. Use a fork to test for doneness; the tines should easily pierce the cauliflower when done.
Sprinkle with Parmesan:
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.