There really is a secret to achieving the BEST roasted cauliflower ever! You’ll want to read through and check out my step-by-step for how to roast cauliflower. Now, this roasted cauliflower dish gets an amazing amount of flavor out of just a few ingredients. Spoiler alert, cumin and fresh lemon are involved. But I have a bunch more flavor options for you. These work for appetizer, or side, but can easily turn into dinner.
Steamed cauliflower? I’ll eat that if I must. Raw cauliflower? Okay, I’ll take it jazzed up with some spices, citrus, and a generous drizzle of EVOO, of course. The cauliflower I’m most absurdly in love with is: roasted cauliflower!
I mean, take pale cauliflower and pan roast it, and suddenly, it turns tender and sweet–the most enchanting bite ever!
Ah, but there really is a secret to achieving the best roasted cauliflower. I shared it before when I posted my herbed couscous dinner bowls, but it’s worth repeating here.
Secret to the Best Roasted Cauliflower
In my humble opinion the best roasted cauliflower, is perfectly tender and sweet, while caramelized and even charred in some parts on the outside. The secret to achieving this, is to cover your sheet pan (with the cauliflower florets) with foil for the first 10 to 15 minutes of baking. This will trap just enough moisture to help cook the cauliflower properly. Remove the foil for the remainder of the roasting time. Still, the cauliflower will remain moist enough to withstand the heat and will not dry up, even as it gains that nice and crispy char!
Keep reading, and you’ll see my step-by-step for how to roast cauliflower. Perfect every time!
Flavor Makers in Today’s Recipe
Because it’s so plain, cauliflower is the perfect carrier for any number of flavors. This time, I’m going for a bit of a warm Moroccan theme, hitting my cauli up with a generous dash of ground cumin (great for digestion here, if you know what I mean), along with harrissa spice blend, which carries sweeter chili notes along with coriander, caraway and fennel. A drizzle of excellent EVOO brings everything together.
Flavor variations: You can definitely change up the spices. I’ve used a combination of turmeric, cumin and coriander before. Za’atar and sumac is another awesome option. Or,you can go Greek and do dried oregano and a little cumin.
A squeeze of lemon juice over my hot, roasted cauliflower, brightens everything together.
How to Roast Cauliflower (the BEST, that is!)
1. First, cut the cauliflower into smaller florets of equal size (they don’t have to be perfectly equal)
2. Drizzle with Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil, then hit up the cauliflower with spices, salt and pepper. Toss to make sure everything is well coated. Spread well on baking sheet.
3. Cover with foil and roast in high-heated oven for 15 minutes, then uncover and roast until well caramelized and even charred in some places (make sure to rotate baking sheet occasionally, and turn cauliflower over). This will take about 30 minutes or so. You can adjust the cooking time, if you don’t like your cauliflower too caramelized or charred (but it’s so good this way!)
4-Transfer to a serving platter and, while nice and hot, hit it up with lemon juice. Garnish with toasted nuts and fresh parsley.
Turn Roasted Cauliflower into a Main Course!
This roasted cauliflower is a super versatile dish. Great as an appetizer with tahini and warm pita bread. Or as a side dish next to your favorite entree like baked fish; lemon chicken; souvlaki; or Greek Keftede meatballs.
If you have any leftover roasted cauliflower, let them cool then refrigerate in tight-lid glass containers for 3 to 4 days. Leftovers are great cold or at room temperature!
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BEST roasted cauliflower recipe! Such simple steps and so few ingredients, including cumin and lemon, create amazing flavor. You can serve roasted cauliflower as an appetizer or side, but be sure to see our ideas for how to turn them into dinner!
- 1 head cauliflower, cored and divided into small florets
- Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp harissa spice
- Salt and pepper
- 1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice (or juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon to your liking)
- Handful fresh parsley for garnish, optional
- 1/4 cup/30 g toasted pine nuts (or toasted slivered almonds), optional
For Tahini (optional)
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (or 250 degrees C)
- Place cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and toss to make sure florets are coated, add more EVOO as needed.
- Combine cumin and harissa in a small dish. Season cauliflower with the spice mixture and a generous pinch of salt and black pepper. Toss again to combine. Spread cauliflower florets well on the baking sheet so that they are in one layer.
- Cover the baking sheet with foil and place on middle rack of heated oven. Roast, covered, for 15 minutes, then carefully remove foil and return baking sheet to the oven. Roast for another 30 minutes or so, occasionally rotating the baking sheet and turning cauliflower florets over (using tongs). Cauliflower should be so tender and caramelized or even charred in some parts.
- While cauliflower is roasting, prepare tahini sauce according to this recipe.
- Remove from heat and carefully transfer roasted cauliflower to a serving dish. Immediately hit with lemon juice, a little drizzle of tahini (if you like), toasted nuts and a little fresh parsley for garnish. If you’re like me and want even more flavor, sprinkle a bit more harissa spice.
- Serve tahini sauce in a bowl on the side for dipping.
- How to Serve this Cauliflower: this roasted cauliflower is a super versetile dish. Great as an appetizer with tahini and warm pita bread. Or as a side dish next to your favorite entree like baked fish; lemon chicken; souvlaki; or Greek Keftede meatballs.
- Roasted Cauliflower as a Main Course? Sure! Turn this roasted cauliflower into dinner bowls or this tasty, wholesome vegan sandwich wrap.
- Tip for Storing leftovers: If you have any leftover roasted cauliflower, let them cool then refrigerate in tight-lid glass containers for 3 to 4 days. Leftovers are great cold or at room temperature, and you can re-purpose them in dinner bowls or sandwich wraps as mentioned above.
- Category: Appetizer or Side
- Method: Roasted
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Roasted Cauliflower, How to Roast Cauliflower, Best Roasted Cauliflower