Is it weird to eat a whole head of cauliflower for one? Because if so, I should probably refrain from telling people that not only have I done it before, but I’ve done it more than once. I mean it’s not like I sit in a corner at parties with a head of cauliflower in one hand and a White Claw in the other, but it is definitely my favorite tree-shaped vegetable (sorry broccoli).
Although it has become trendy to turn cauliflower into gnocchi, rice, and even pretzels, none of those hold a candle to roasted cauliflower in my opinion. It’s so simple, yet so melt-in-your-mouth good.
As easy as roasted cauliflower is to make though, there’s actually an art to hitting the sweet spot to perfectly roasted florets. It’s not an exact science but after years of eating roasted cauliflower on a weekly basis, I’ve fine-tuned my method based on a few, simple tricks that make it absolutely delectable whether you are serving it as a side or eating it on its own!
Tips for Roasting Cauliflower:
- Low and slow is key: Cauliflower, much like sweet potato or butternut squash, requires a good 40-45 minutes to achieve those drool-worthy crispy, brown edges. When hunger strikes, it can be so tempting to crank the oven to 425 degrees and expedite the roasting process, but in my experience, it always ends up that the cauliflower tastes burnt, dry, and under-done. Patience really is a virtue when it comes to roasted cauliflower and enhances its natural flavor while also giving it the perfect, buttery texture.
- Slice/break up the florets: I often buy cauliflower already chopped into florets, but quickly learned that you can’t just dump the bag onto a baking sheet. In a rush, I will just use my hands to break up larger florets, but my favorite method is to thinly slice through a head of cauliflower to create florets of even thickness. This enables every inch of each floret to touch the baking sheet and allows them to roast more evenly.
- Use just enough olive oil: Although I would pretty much bathe in olive oil, I’ve learned that if you drench cauliflower in too much olive oil, it will taste greasy and will not get crispy. On the other hand, if you are stingy with the olive oil and don’t fully coat it, the cauliflower will cook unevenly and turn out dry and flavorless. I have found that if you toss the cauliflower in olive oil in a bowl before transferring it to the baking sheet then you don’t risk drowning it in oil, but each nook and cranny gets coated.
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- grated parmesan to garnish (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and set out a large baking sheet. I like to place the cauliflower directly on an unlined baking sheet, but if you want less of a mess, you can line it with aluminum foil.
- Using a large knife, remove the stems from the head of cauliflower, then slice the head in half.
- Thinly slice through each half to create 1/4 inch-thick pieces. As you do so, many of the florets will naturally separate which is perfectly fine. If you prefer, you can break the florets off by hand, but I recommend breaking each floret into smaller pieces.
- Add the cauliflower to a large bowl and drizzle in the olive oil. Toss the cauliflower in the olive oil until completely coated.
- Add the cauliflower to the baking sheet in an even layer and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roast the cauliflower for 40-45 minutes until the edges are brown and the florets are tender.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle lightly with parmesan, and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total Fat: 10.6gSaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 311mgCarbohydrates: 3.9gFiber: 1.8gSugar: 1.6gProtein: 1.4g