Last week in my post about the cheesy pasta bake, I mentioned that I’m not a huge cauliflower fan. I didn’t eat it much growing up and I’ve never been able to swallow it raw as an adult. But then a few years ago I tried cauliflower puree, back when it was all the rage and people tried to convince you it was a perfectly acceptable low-carb substitution for mashed potatoes and no one would ever know it wasn’t potatoes because it tasted just the same! For the record, those people are full of crap. Those are the same people that tell you to put marinara sauce on a spaghetti squash instead of actual spaghetti. Do not trust those people; it will end in disappointment my friends. While cauliflower is an absolutely horrible replacement for mashed potatoes, I was shockingly surprised to find that I actually liked the flavor of the puree. If you or your spouse or kids have vegetables they don’t like, my advice is to experiment with different cooking methods. It’s amazing what a difference one cooking method to another makes in taste and texture and you might just find you love something you previously despised! When it comes to vegetables, there is one tried and true cooking method that will transform just about anything into something delicious: roasting. If you’re ever in doubt about how to cook an unfamiliar veggie, or you’re not too fond of it- roast it. I swear. Amazing things happen. (Hello Brussel Sprouts!)
So here’s a great, quick and easy side dish recipe. Start with a head of cauliflower.
Remove all of the stem and leaves and then just carefully cut it into large florets. It’s a little different than broccoli in that the pieces sort of stick together more. You’ll want to slice the florets into about 1/4 inch slices. See in this picture below, it’s basically just one piece of stem. You’ll want to keep most pieces attached to at least some portion of a stem so it doesn’t all fall apart on ya.
Just toss it all on a foil lined baking sheet so it’s in a single layer. You want all of the pieces to have contact with the pan so they can brown and caramelize. Next, drizzle on fresh minced garlic and extra virgin olive oil. A little trick you’ll see in the instructions is that I heat the oil and garlic in the microwave just to warm it. That infuses the oil with the garlic flavor, therefore better flavoring your veggies.
And sprinkle on some kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, too.
You’ll notice when you toss it all together that you’ll have little bits all over. It’s crumbled pieces of cauliflower and garlic and it’s the best part after it’s cooked! Scoop all of those up and sprinkle them on top of everything else before you put your pan in the oven.
Now, pop that pan in a hot oven and let it do its thing. Everything starts to brown and caramelize and smell amazing. You’ll toss it midway through, and then toss it with a little parmesan cheese in the last few minutes of baking. See how it looks like it all shrank in the photo below?? That’s because I ate half the pan with my fingers before I even snapped a picture.
In fact, I just ate it all plain. Comin’ from a self-professed cauliflower hater y’all!
PS, if you own our cook book you’ll see this is basically the exact same way I cook my broccoli. Try it with both!
Roasted Garlic-Parmesan Cauliflower
Recipe by ourbestbites.com
3-4 tbs olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 head cauliflower
kosher salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons crumbled Parmesan cheese (stuff in a green can a-okay!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Heat in microwave for about 20 seconds and set aside.
Remove stem and leaves from cauliflower head and trim into large florets. Slice each floret into 1/4 inch slices and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and garlic mixture and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Use clean hands to toss to coat. Add more olive oil if needed. Bake for 15 minutes and then toss with spatula. Bake 10 more and then toss with Parmesan cheese. Continue baking for 5-10 minutes until slightly golden brown on edges.
Fabulous recipe (even without the cheese!)This so so much better than sitting down with a bag of chips! My kids hate raw or steamed cauliflower, but when I make this, they fight over who gets the most!
When the parmessan is almost done, sprinkle on slivered almonds & bake for 1-2 minutes (the burn fast).When all done spray on a little bit of soy sauce. If you want to go crazy, have some processed, ground up almonds & sunflower seeds(50/50) on hand & add with the slivered almonds. They go with everything.
Made this tonight and it is soooo good!! I hardly ever make cauliflower, but that will have to change now.
Just made this tonight…SOOO yummy! I too don’t believe people who say cauliflower tastes like potatoes (on what planet?). My kids still won’t eat it but they turn their noses up at everything I make that isn’t tacos. Oh well. I love it!
I tried this last night. Yum! A great way to serve cauliflower. I’m always on the lookout for good ways with winter vegetables.
YUM!!! We had this for dinner. Best cauliflower I have ever had… and I love cauliflower.
They don’t make cauliflower heads big enough for this recipe. I’m up to two heads now and that barely is enough just for the kids. I have to eat it straight from the pan in order for me to get any. They even request this instead of chips when they have friends over.
A few years ago I was teaching the chemistry merit badge to 12-13 year olds and we went through the science of sucrose turning into fructose and glucose when you caramelize veggies. It was cool (in a nerdy sort of way) to see the chemical equation but then it hit home when I had them eat fresh raw veggies and then eat the sweet caramelized veggies.
We loved it! The kids turned there noses up at first, we aren’t big on cauliflower (I am it’s the rest of them LOL!) and they all loved it! They kept asking for more, my 2yr old especially! Thanks!
I love it raw in salads, boiled to softness, batter dipped and french-fried (pure heaven!), or roasted. My husband would never eat it except in a salad until I sprinkled it with olive oil and curry. Now he loves it, too, horray! I must try it with this recipe, too; it sounds so, so good! We love fresh parm.
FABULOUS recipe!! Loved it! Paired it with the Honey-Ginger Glazed Tilapia. This cauliflower is like…addicting. You could seriously eat a whole head of cauliflower without realizing it! Can’t wait to try this with broccoli! I would LOVE some more of these delicious VEGETABLE recipes!
After seeing this recipe the other day… I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. So for dinner tonight, I made some. THAT was my dinner. I literally ate it all!
YUUUUUUMMMMM! So addicting! I will be making this as a staple! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂
I did a pan of broccoli and cauliflower last night….soooo good!My kids even ate it without saying anything except “yum!”
Last night I made this with the recently posted tilapia and best dinner rolls. My husband thanks you both!
this was delicious….. and I even forgot the cheese. I can’t wait to eat some more!
This will be my go-to recipe for cauliflower. I just made it for lunch and am eating it RIGHT NOW! It comes together very quickly, especially if you chopped up the cauliflower the day before. So tasty, and I love that there are so few ingredients, and always things I will have on hand.
do you think i could roast cauliflower with the balsamic brussel sprouts? would the cauliflower be good with the balsamic?
Yum! Cant wait to try this.. I love cauliflower!
We just had this for dinner. Oh my it was delicious! My husband does not like cauliflower, but he loved this. He said it was the best caulfilower he has ever had! I used less (1.5 tbs) of olive oil.
Thank you for calling out the liars. I completely agree. 🙂
LOL: “For the record, those people are full of crap. Those are the same people that tell you to put marinara sauce on a spaghetti squash instead of actual spaghetti. Do not trust those people; it will end in disappointment my friends.” You guys crack me up! Love reading your blog!!
Sara your posts always make me giggle! Can’t wait to try this recipe 🙂
Roasting vegetables is amazing. I love roasting green beans with just a little olive oil and kosher salt. So simple and so good. This recipe is going on my menu for the week. I really appreciate all of the healthy recipes you and Kate are posting.
I love cauliflower and really want to try this recipe but it’s summer here so no caulies for months. Never have liked winter but bring it on!!!
Cauliflower was okay, kind of mushy when cooked and I couldn’t really stand raw. Then a friend posted about roasting her cauliflower on FB and I was intrigued. I tried it. Oh my heck!!! It takes on a whole new flavor and has a wonderful nutty taste. AND MY KIDS ATE IT UP!!! So, yes, this is a wonderful way to make cauliflower. I will have to try the olive oil/garlic trick, and then toss it with p. cheese at the end. YUMM!
It’s in the oven right now…smells divine! Can’t say I’ve ever served cauliflower as a side dish before, but you’ve convinced me 🙂
Just wanted to pop in and say, I stumbled onto your blog last year when looking for a Cafe Rio-ish vinaigrette dressing, and had tried a few recipes, which were all great. Then I received your cookbook at Christmas, and we have tried a new dish from it nearly every day. What a wonderful cookbook! Everything has turned out so yummy, even my picky family has scarfed it all up. Can’t wait for your new cookbook!
I love raw cauliflower but have never been able to eat it cooked — go figure! I will definitely be giving this a try this week!
I might have to try it your way..I am not a big fan of it either. But anything with a garlic butter on it ..has to be good!
Hi there! Can’t wait to try this! By “crumbled” parmesan, do you mean fresh grated? Will that work OK? thanks!
Made this tonight and everyone loved it! Thanks!!