How can I roast thee? Let me count the ways…

I’m sneaking under the wire here to share one of my simple cooking favorites. Weekend Herb Blogging rules are changing so that we use exotic veggies and expand our horizons…and cauliflower doesn’t fit the bill!

Cauliflower has a bum rap, no way around it. Some people don’t like it raw or boiled, and so they assume that they don’t like it at all. But roasting gives a totally different dimension to the flavor, and there are so many great spices you can add. I thought I first read about roasted cauliflower with paprika in Joy of Cooking, but I looked back and it’s not there, so I have no idea where I first got the thought, but there are so many other flavors that work as well (or better, I think). I didn’t even offer it to my DH for a while, and then I got him to eat a piece. And gradually over months, he’s stealing all my cauliflower! I’ve had more success getting him to be a cauli-convert than I have with any other veggie.

So you can’t really go wrong as long as you roast. You can do high heat for a shorter time and stir more often, or lower heat, and get busy doing other things. I’ve tried it as low as 350, which takes a long time, and I’ve seen recipes as high as 450. However, the higher temperature you use, the bigger issue of development of acrylamide, a chemical which is cancer causing in high doses. I usually opt for lower and slower because I always have a ton to do and hey, I’m a nutritionist. What do you expect??

You can really get creative for spices, from cumin seeds, to panch phoron, to rosemary, to chili powder, to lemon and dill. Just use sea salt, the texture does matter here.

It’s hard to give an exact recipe, as caulis come in all sizes, and it depends on how much of the stems you use and all of that.

1 cauliflower, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1-3 Tablespoons of oil
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
1 bulb (not clove) of garlic
pepper, to taste

Cumin: add 1.5 teaspoons whole seeds
Panch phoron add 1.5 teaspoons whole seeds and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Rosemary: add 3 Tablespoons or so fresh rosemary needles or 1 Tablespoon dried
Chili:Add 1 T chili powder
Lemon dill: squeeze juice of one lemon and add 3 Tablespoons fresh dill or 1 T dried. Omit garlic.

Preheat oven to 375-400*. Remove the biggest garlic bulbs from the garlic ‘paper’ but leave the small ones. Chop cauliflower and toss with salt and seasonings. Spread out on a cookie sheet LINED with parchment (you’ll be glad you did.)

Roast until nicely browned around the edges, stirring every 15-20 minutes.

Rediscover cauliflower…isn’t it good?!

*see discussion above

This is my entry to Weekend Herb Blogging, a fabulous way to celebrate the herbs and produce of teh season, and our hostess is Simona from Briciole.

About Cheryl Harris

Life played a funny trick on me. I've studied nutrition for years, and much to my surprise, found out that I could manage many of my health issues via diet. I've been GF for years, and I've got a bunch of allergies and sensitivities. But it definitely doesn't keep me from cooking, baking and enjoying my food. Thanks for stopping by.
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11 Responses to How can I roast thee? Let me count the ways…

  1. Nick says:

    Yum! You’re making me hungry and I just ate. I never really liked cauliflower, I think because I always had it steamed. But recently I’ve seen a lot of roasted or pan seared cauliflower that looked really good, I’ll have to try.

    As for the exhibition, no worries on your recipe submission! First of all, I totally missed the word brownie when you emailed me, that’s my fault. I concentrated on the words “brazil nut butter” because I’ve had several people ask if a different nut butter was ok. Even if I saw the word “brownie” I still would have said it was fine – brownies are close to cake anyway, I was just making a joke of it, hope I didn’t offend! I always love gluten free entries too, they’re so interesting and unique. Thanks for entering!

  2. Simona says:

    I love cauliflower prepared in many ways and I often roast it. Thanks for the information on the oven temperature: very useful. And thanks for all the suggested variations.

  3. Kalyn says:

    I love roasted cauliflower. Really like the idea of panch phoron on it, I bet that is sensational!

  4. Oooh, this looks delicious! Cauliflower is one of those veggies I “forget” to eat. This sounds like a tasty dish that I would enjoy (and maybe even get my hubby & kids to partake in as well!). Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Wazzup says:

    How about sesame (oil / seeds). Combine with tarragon-chicken and I’m one happy camper.

  6. Wazzup says:

    to answer my own question… it went fine. olive oil, mixed with some seame oil and some chili(peper)-salt made excellent cauliflower. Poached chickenbreast (bit overdone, need to practice more) with a tarragon-mustard sauce (from the vegetable stock I poached the chicken in ) bound with some (potato)starch.

    And I was one happy camper. :-)

    Thanks !!

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  8. Jennie says:

    This is soooooo true!!! My favorite combo is for just under 1/2 hour till crisp at about 450 deg – for one cauliflower cut up and toss first with 2-4 tblspoons grapeseed oil, generous ground tumeric (goes amazingly well! super nutty) – 2.5 tblspoons?, a little ground cardomon, maybe a few cumin seeds, optional garlic (smashed), and sea salt. I’ve been cooking it in a cast iron pan and it’s perfect every time. – J

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  11. Agree with you completely: cauliflower is delicious and versatile. Great post with fantastic ideas for cooking cauliflower in many ways.

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