Cauliflower is kind of like tofu and eggplant in the sense it is almost a blank slate. It soaks up any sauces or seasonings you add to it. You can blanch it or steam it (I love it steamed) or make it into a luscious creamy sauce. Because it is really low in fiber it almost disappears when baked in a gratin or sauce.
Roasted cauliflower should be barely browned with subtle crispy edges. It gets a slightly sweet-nutty flavor when it is roasted and is more firm than when it is steamed or braised in a sauce. Roasted Cauliflower makes a simple versatile side dish as is and is good either hot or room temperature.
Let’s roast some cauliflower. Start by preheating your oven to 400F. If you don’t preheat the oven your cauliflower will steam and won’t brown so make sure your oven is all the way preheated.
All you need is a cauliflower and some oil and salt.
Wash your cauliflower and take off the dark green leaves.
Turn it over and cut off the stem.
Then cut out the core. Stick a paring knife on the side of the core at an angle and cut in a circle and the core will come right out.
Now you can roast it whole. This makes a nice presentation for a fancy meal. Just put it on a sheet pan, (I like to use a baking mat or parchment paper so it doesn’t stick) in a preheated 400F oven and rub olive oil and salt on it and bake for 30-35 minutes until brown. This photo is showing it if I was going to roast it whole.
Or you can break it into large chunks and roast it the same temperature and time. Try to keep the size of the chunks even to they cook evenly. I like to serve large chunks of roasted cauliflower like I would a roasted potato or with a rich sauce like hollandaise or Romesco.
Here I’ve broken the cauliflower into small florets and rubbed with salt and oil. Leave some room for air flow so the florets can brown. Small florets are nice in salads, a simple side dish, served with dips or my new favorite cauliflower tacos!
Here it is done, about 35 minutes later.
Simple and delicious.
Have a great week. See you at pickup.