I made roasted cauliflower because we were in need of some mid-winter optimism. And because cauliflower is the most delicious when caramelized to perfection, I roasted it instead of cooking it on the stovetop.
The curly-headed brassica is delightful, easily available, and takes no time to roast (happily allowing me to carry on with my no-fuss, no-muss recipe streak). I cooked the florets in a very hot oven until they were tinged brown, had an insanely delectable crisp exterior, and a tender interior.
Swimming in that toasty flavor that accompanies anything, we munched on it as a snack and then transformed it into pasta. By the way, that’s another reason I love roasted cauliflower. It blends with a variety of ingredients, lending beauty and texture in heaps.
Roasted cauliflower is a crazy easy recipe that is chock. Full. Of. Flavor. Because brassicas put their best foot forward when crisped and browned.
The result is so flavorful (did I mention it already?) that you’ll be making it once a week till the vegetable is in season. And it requires no effort. Simply chop and toss. And the cleanup is a bowl, spoon, and tray!
- Start by cutting the cauliflower into florets.
- Whisk olive oil, salt, pepper, Za’atar, and Kashmiri deggi mirch (red chili powder) together. The chili is for color and flavor, not heat.
- Toss the florets thoroughly in the spice blend. Get your hands in there, if necessary, but make sure every nook and cranny of the florets is coated.
- Spread the florets evenly on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 25 minutes at 220 °C.
- Serve immediately while the veggies are still smoking hot from the oven.
Half the addictiveness of roasted cauliflower is the moreish contrast between the crunchy golden exterior and the meaty interior. To get that, you need to cut equal-sized florets in order to roast them uniformly.
How to cut cauliflower florets?
Remove the core first. Once that’s out of the way, it’s effortless to cut florets into chunks.
I like to use medium-sized florets. But feel free to make them bigger or smaller. For those who change the size, adjust the baking time accordingly. Some ovens run hotter, and you don’t want the tiny florets to burn.
How to get crisp, crackly roasted cauliflower?
If your florets are emerging flabby and yellow, you’re not cooking them at a high enough temperature. If they’re charring, then you’re cooking them for too long.
My advice is to keep an eye after 20 minutes, as all ovens are different. When they reach the perfect golden hue, take them out. Keep in mind that we’re not looking for overcooked florets. We want it just done.
In case the dish is not crispy enough for your palate, slide it back into the oven for another minute or two.
How to garnish healthy roasted cauliflower?
The dish is so good on its own, but I dressed mine up with pomegranate arils, sliced red chilies, and fresh cilantro leaves.
The crackling cauliflowers don’t let you down, irrespective of how you serve them. In my house, it’s devoured within minutes as a light snack. The second batch (yes, it is that popular here) was transformed into quick pasta.
- Pasta with cauliflower recipe: Toss cooked pasta with roasted cauliflower. Top with Parmesan shavings and lemon zest.
- Warm winter salad recipe: serve with roasted sweet potato and chickpea salad
- Serve it with quinoa.
- Or as an easy side to wild rice.
Vegetable: Swap cauliflower with broccoli, or use a mix of the two.
Flavorings: Keep it simple with salt and pepper, or turn up the heat with minced garlic, chili flakes, or sumac.
Love an Indian touch? Add garam masala and turmeric to the florets.
Dried or fresh parsley is another option.
Want a creamier effect? Grate cheese on top.
For some crunch and texture, include chopped nuts, seeds, or toasted bread crumbs in the spice blend.
Toppings: To get more flavor out of the cauliflower, top it with
- Pistachio Pesto
- Creamy Whipped Feta Dip
- Homemade Vegan Mayonnaise
- Cashew Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
You’ll love the roasted cauliflower recipe. It’s:
As delicious as it looks
Low effort, high reward
A quick, easy, flavor-packed snack
The perfect side dish for any main course
Makes full and healthy use of seasonal produce
- 1 large head Cauliflower
- 2-3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1.5 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder or any chilli powder you prefer
- 2 tsp Zatar
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 220 C. Keep a baking tray handy.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets.
- In a large bowl, combine olive oil, chilli powder, zatar, salt, and pepper.
- Add the cauliflower to this spice mix. Toss well until the cauliflower florets are well coated with the mixture.
- Arrange the cauliflower on the baking tray, evenly, in a single layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes at 220 C or until the cauliflower is cooked through, golden, and crispy around the edges.
- Serve hot immediately. Enjoy!