Simple Roasted Cauliflower

Simple Roasted Cauliflower

If you’re not a cauliflower fan (as I used to claim I wasn’t), try roasting it. Tossed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and blasted in a hot oven, cauliflower is utterly transformed. The normally bland, white, cruciferous vegetable (most commonly seen on crudité trays with ranch dip) turns into a golden, salty, addictive snack, with a slightly crispy exterior and meltingly soft interior. I love it simply roasted, or with the additions listed below.


Serves 8

2 heads cauliflower, stalks removed and broken into bite-size florets
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F and line two sheet trays with aluminum foil (this makes for easier clean-up).

Toss the cauliflower and olive oil in a large bowl and spread evenly onto two sheet trays. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown (and beginning to turn dark on the edges). Switch the trays once during cooking.

Let cool slightly before serving.

• Substitute the cauliflower for broccoli.
• After cooking, toss with some fresh lemon juice and some grated Parmesan.
• For a Mediterranean variation, toss the roasted cauliflower with capers, chopped Kalamata olives, and chopped parsley.
• Sauté a minced garlic clove and 2 anchovies in a tablespoon of olive oil until the garlic is fragrant and the anchovies have melted. Drizzle this mixture over the roasted cauliflower.

  • Anonymous

    Mustard is also delicious with cauliflower. A dressing of olive oil (or melted butter), lemon juice, and dijon mustard is a favorite at our house.

  • Anna Watson Carl

    Ooh that sounds delicious! I've never made a Dijon vinaigrette with cauliflower, but now I definitely will. Thanks for the tip!

  • Lisa Smith

    i love cauliflower any way it is made, but i have found a recipe that is absolutely perfect…especially for people who don’t love cauliflower. basically, do exactly what you said above….break cauliflower into bite size pieces, drizzle a little olive oil, add a pinch of salt and pepper, squeeze a lemon (1/2 if doing 1 head of cauliflower) over the florets, throw in some minced garlic, and bake. for my friends who like cheese, i lightly added fresh parmesan over the florets immediately after it came out of the oven. LOVE this dish! i make it all the time. (side note: i have found that lemon juice does not flavor correctly, so definitely use a fresh lemon)

  • Lisa Smith

    sorry, didn’t read your variation addition! looks like you already know all the secrets to cauliflower!

  • Sarah Ancalmo

    This sounds amazing, Anna! I’m a closet cauliflower fan. Will have to try this tomorrow!

My name is Anna Watson Carl. In a word, I love food, I love France, and I love throwing dinner parties. Over the years, I've worked as a personal chef, taught cooking classes, edited cookbooks, written for magazines, tested and styled recipes, and traveled whenever opportunity has arisen. But at heart, there's nothing I love more than sharing a meal with friends around the yellow table.

For me, cooking has always been a way of life. As a (mildly precocious) ten-year old, I planned and prepared a four-course Valentine's dinner for my parents, birthing a lifelong passion for dinner parties. That was just the beginning. I've been cooking ever since, whipping up souffles at a chateau in Burgundy, searing filet mignon for a wealthy client's dog (bizarre, but true), butchering ducks for confit de canard in Paris, baking the night shift in Nashville, and bathing the floor of my NYC apartment in turkey brine...the story continues.


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