Easy Roasted Cauliflower and Tips for Perfectly Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted cauliflower is an incredibly easy side dish perfect for the fall and winter season. Roasting cauliflower, rather than boiling or steaming, adds a delicious nutty flavor that paired with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper is perfect in its simplicity. If you want to get a little bit fancy, you can add freshly grated Parmesan to top it off.
Cauliflower is one of those funny preference things that my kids actually like it better than the more common counterpart: broccoli. I discovered this phenomenon with Logan and Madeline when we were going back and forth with rice vs. quinoa. I discovered that they actually like Easy Coconut Quinoa far better than rice.
Honestly, I really don’t care what vegetable they’re eating if they eating a vegetable. I’m just as happy to serve Roasted Cauliflower or Roasted Broccoli as long as it is getting eaten – and it is. These days our dinner table is a far cry (and significantly less frustrating) from what it used to be. It took a long time, but through lots of trial and error, patience and perseverance, we have made huge strides towards managing picky eating tendencies.
I think part of the trick here is that roasting gives vegetables great flavor without overwhelming my kids palate with too many spices. I think that roasting makes almost any vegetable taste better. Cooked at higher heat, roasted vegetables begin to caramelize and develop a delicious, nutty flavor that can’t be achieved through steaming or boiling.
3 Tips for Perfectly Roasted Cauliflower
Roasted Cauliflower makes a delicious side dish. It also makes a great addition to roasted vegetable sandwiches or casseroles, like this Cheesy Spiced Cauliflower Gratin. Here are 3 tips to help you perfect your roasting technique.
1. Keep Sizing Consistent
Try to cut the cauliflower into pieces of the same, or at least close to, size. This will ensure even cook times for the whole pan. You don’t want some of the cauliflower perfectly roasted while other pieces are either burnt or not done enough.
2. Dry Before Cooking
Of course you are going to want to wash the cauliflower before roasting, but make sure to pat them dry (or allow to air dry while you prepare other parts of your meal) prior to the cooking process. Wet cauliflower, when cooked, end up steaming and won’t develop the delicious caramelized crust and nutty flavor that you get when you roast cauliflower.
3. Don’t Crowd the Pan
If you need to, separate the cauliflower into 2 pans. If the pan is too crowded, the cauliflower will create moisture, which turns your roasted cauliflower into steamed cauliflower.
Yield: serves 4
1 pound cauliflower florets
1 – 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the cauliflower and olive oil. Stir to coat.
On a large baking sheet, spread the cauliflower in a single layer. Sprinkle, according to your taste preferences, with salt and pepper.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 15 – 25 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked and golden brown.
If desired, add any additional ingredients (such as fresh parmesan), toss to coat and serve immediately.