I don't know why it never occurred to me before to roast cauliflower. I love roasted or baked vegetables of other sorts. Growing up we usually had the classic cauliflower with home made cheese sauce - and I have mostly just eaten it raw as an adult. Awhile back I signed some cookbooks out of the library. I was there with Scarlet getting books for her and well, I found myself in the cookbook section. It was just to good to resist, so I came home with a stack of them. Like I don't have enough cookbooks to work my way through! One recipe I tried was from a Rachael Ray book - a roasted cauliflower curry dish - which was so different to me, and delicious.
Just this week I decided to revisit this, but just simply to roast the cauliflower rather than take it any further. Who would have thought cauliflower could be so amazing? Compared to steaming or boiling the flavour is much more interesting - kind of nutty - and lends itself to much variation in seasoning. The first time I cooked this earlier in the week I drizzled olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sprinkled dried oregano all over the cauliflower before roasting. I got the lemon juice idea from Elise at Simply Recipes when I did a bit of digging around after deciding I would make this. I roasted a whole bulb of garlic separately (drizzled with olive oil and wrapped in foil to make a little packet) and then mashed and chopped the roasted garlic, tossing it along with sea salt and pepper with the cauliflower before serving.
The second time (pictured) I started off the same (olive oil and lemon) but sprinkled cumin and curry powder over the cauliflower as well before roasting. This worked well and I would try adding a bit more of each of these spices next time.
My husband isn't a big fan of cauliflower but enjoyed it done both ways, and my one year old Scarlet liked it too. For lunch one day I enjoyed some of the leftovers with some olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. For dinner I mixed some with a tomato sauce served over fresh pasta.
- 1 head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
- extra virgin olive oil (enough to drizzle over, about 1 to 2 tablespoons/15 ml to 30 ml)
- 1/2 to 1 lemon, squeezed
- 1 bulb garlic, roasted (optional)
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml), approximately, dried oregano
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp (5 ml), approximately, curry powder
- 1 tsp (5 ml), approximately, ground cumin
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 375⁰ F (190⁰ C)
The garlic can go into the oven about 10 to 15 minutes before the cauliflower. Thinly slice off the top of the bulb, drizzle olive oil on top, and tightly wrap in foil. Place in the middle of the oven.
Roughly chop the cauliflower into medium to large pieces. Rinse and place in a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil over top. Turn over with a large spoon or spatula until well distributed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, curry powder and ground cumin and mix again. Transfer cauliflower to a baking sheet that is either lightly greased or covered with parchment paper. You could likely get away with very little or no oil on the pan if the cauliflower is well-coated. I used parchment paper. Spread evenly and place in the middle of the oven. Roast for about 25 minutes. There will still be some firmness so if you'd prefer it more tender add another five minutes or more, checking so that it doesn't burn.
Squeeze or scrape out the roasted garlic with a knife and lightly mash and chop. Mix in with the roasted cauliflower. Serve.
This can be made ahead, and then warmed in the oven in a covered casserole dish.