Roasting cauliflower is not only easy, but creates a wonderful side dish that pairs well with so many meals. Not only is it easy, but the preparation is fast. When preparing cauliflower for roasting, all you do is cut it up, mix with oil and spice and then pop it in the oven while you prepare dinner. Let’s take a closer look at how roasting cauliflower will make your next dinner really good!
This easy roasted cauliflower recipe is: Gluten Free, Paleo, Primal, Wheat Belly and Vegan.
Roasting Cauliflower for Dinner
For my daughter’s 4th birthday, we asked her what she would like to have for her birthday dinner. Her response was awesome. “Lamb lollipops, artichokes and roasted cauliflower. Chocolate mousse for dessert.” Just like that. She’s so cool that it blows my mind. I mean, what not-quite-four-year-old comes up with this menu on the fly? Needless to say, it was a killer meal and she was one happy birthday girl. I’m thrilled to be roasting cauliflower for her birthday too.
In our house, roasted cauliflower is one of our staples. The recipe here is smoky and earthy, brought to the forefront with smoked paprika and cumin. You can really add so many different spices to roasted cauliflower that it is incredible. My son loves it with cajun spice, my wife likes it with a little heat with red pepper flakes and my daughter loves it simply with salt and pepper. If you have them, herbs de Provence work great too.
Preparing Cauliflower for Roasting
Roasting cauliflower is a little bit of an art. Here’s why: there is no standard size for a cauliflower head. Over the last six months at the market, the size of cauliflower heads has been wildly different. There has been a draught in California which caused a smaller head size (and a huge price increase) for months. The heads were also more dense which will change the cook time. Recently, cauliflower has become more readily available again with larger heads. If we take a look at Organic cauliflower, the heads are almost always smaller than conventionally grown. So I’m going to give a recipe that uses about 5 cups of cauliflower, which will reduce down to 4 after roasting.
To prepare the cauliflower for roasting, I first rinse the head with water. Then I core the cauliflower by putting it on the cutting board, head side down, and carefully use a utility knife to cut the core out of the cauliflower. Once the core is removed, I break the florets off the cauliflower. The larger florets are cut in half or quarters and all of them are tossed in a bowl to take a bath in olive oil and spices. From here, roasting the cauliflower is easy. Just line a sheet pan and toss in the oven. Lining the sheet tray makes cleanup a breeze.
QUICK COOKING TIP: Be careful how much olive oil you use when roasting cauliflower. The cauliflower florets tend to absorb a lot of the oil when you pour it over them and I have seen so many people add way too much oil. If there is too much, the cauliflower tends to turn mushy. Nobody likes mushy roasted cauliflower.
Let’s get ready to start roasting cauliflower!
Ok- let’s get to the recipe.
- 1 Head Cauliflower cut into florets and then cut into quarters lengthwise, approx 5
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- 1 TSP Smoked Paprika
- 1 TSP Ground Cumin
- 1 TSP Kosher Salt
- Fresh Cracked Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place in the oven while it is preheating.
- Add the cauliflower florets to a large bowl.
- Add in the olive oil and all the spices.
- Mix well with a rubber spatula. Continue to mix until the spices and oil coat all the cauliflower. If you need more oil, add sparingly.
- Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Add cauliflower to the pan.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until tender.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Final Thoughts on Roasting Cauliflower:
This side dish is really versatile. When you make it with the smoked paprika and cumin, it pairs really well with roasted lamb or grilled pork. If you add cajun seasoning, it goes great with burgers hot off the grill. A little spice in there with a touch of lemon goes great with fish. I bet that if you add some chili powder, cumin and some lemon zest it would pair perfectly with venison. Remember that recipes are just guidelines… whatever you think might work, give it a try!
If you deciding whether or not roasting cauliflower sounds good… let me tell you that it is delicious! Weigh in with your thoughts or feedback below.