Roasted Cauliflower-3 Ways
If you are a fan of quick and easy sides when cooking dinner, you are probably already a big fan of roasted vegetables. While there are the staples like roasted carrots and roasted asparagus, roasted cauliflower is a perfect veggie for the oven. In fact, it is probably one of the easiest ones to roast, which makes it perfect for playing around with variations.
Cauliflower is not your typical green, but it still has tons of health benefits, and roasting it in the oven does not take away these benefits like boiling it would. No more steamed veggies here, roasted cauliflower is savory, nutty, sweet, and salty all in one. And that’s without the variations! This makes it a perfect side dish for things like my Osso Bucco or even just with my Perfect Polenta.
Roasted Cauliflower Ingredients:
Without any variations, there are just five ingredients for perfect roasted cauliflower every time. They are:
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Roasted Cauliflower Instructions:
1. The first thing you have to do is break open your cauliflower so you can get to the individual florets. After removing the leafy coverings, take a chef’s knife and quarter the whole cauliflower. This will expose the base system and allow you to easily cut away the core and leaving you with beautifully even cauliflower pieces. Don’t worry if it is not exactly even, all cauliflowers are different and sometimes you’ll end up with a huge floret. Just cut it in half or so and toss it in the bowl.
2. In a large bowl add all the florets along with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss the bowl around so you evenly coat all the cauliflower florets.
3. Place on a foil lined baking tray and bake in the oven at 225°C or about 420°F. Make sure the individual pieces are not touching or crowded, otherwise they will not roast properly (caramelization!) and will just be bland steamed cauliflower.
4. Cook for 20 minutes then remove the now roasted cauliflower and serve right away. These are best served hot, straight out of the oven!
I’m sure you’re thinking, wow, those look amazing. And the truth is they tasted great. But, what you are seeing is actually the base seasoned cauliflower with three different additional seasonings. The base ingredients, and the cook time remain exactly the same, but now you can add different seasonings to the bowl of florets for a little extra kick.
Variation 1: Curry + Thyme
For this one, just add a teaspoon of curry powder and a half teaspoon of thyme to the bowl before you go and mix it. Note: this simple mix is also a great seasoning for oven-roasted chicken!
Variation 2: Umami Cauliflower
Have you thought of this one before? What exactly is Umami? It is the Japanese word for savory, and these florets are far from lacking. I like to use Trader Joe’s Mushroom and Company Multipurpose Umami Seasoning Blend. Wow, what a name. I add 1 tsp of this blend to the bowl before mixing, and cook normally.
Variation 3: Parmesan Italian
A classic mix of Italian Seasoning and Parmesan Cheese. What could go wrong. This variation actually does have a slight change to the instructions. I cheated a bit and used pre-made Italian Seasoning, but you could totally make your own with just basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. After tossing the cauliflower with about a tablespoon of the seasoning, let it cook in the oven, and in the last 2-3 minutes, slide out the tray and sprinkle about a tablespoon of Parmesan shavings over the florets. Then, after you remove from the oven and plate, sprinkle over some more Parmesan shavings.
Roasted Cauliflower Notes:
This dish not only makes a perfect afternoon snack, but also a great side dish to many meals. Since it can be made so quickly, and just takes up the oven, you can make this, while whipping up a steak on the grill, or a pasta on the stove.
The best thing about this is the infinite variations. I’ve shown you three, but I’m sure you could easily think up a dozen just off the top of your head. Let me know in the comments what your favorite variations are!
- 1 head Cauliflower
- 2 tbsp Good Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- Break up your cauliflower into small florets using a chef knife to cut away the core. Place all florets in a large bowl and add the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss well.
- Lay the florets (non-touching) on a foil lined baking tray and place in an oven preheated to 225°C or about 420°F. Roast for 20 minutes or until you see some blackening due to caramelization. Remove and serve immediately.