Updated: Oct 22, 2018
Roast cauliflower is a great way to enjoy one of my favourite vegetables. Next time you come home with some cauliflower give it a go and see if you become a convert like me! You won't look back I promise.
Roasted foods are well liked and enjoyed by many nations worldwide. Cooking foods at high temperatures is not the most beneficial method of cooking however the caramelization that occurs with roasting brings about the delicious flavour that makes roast cauliflower so appetising!
It is best to control the heat and amount of time you let it caramelize. I will explain how I go about roasting mine. As roasting cauliflower will contain most of its nutrients because it will not leach into water by boiling it will be rather nutrient dense. I usually take it out of the oven as soon as it is cooked through and tender and not over cook it. As if you over cook your cauliflower it tends to taste a little bitter and rather strong.
Roasting cauliflower intensifies it's flavour. It makes it more sweet and increases the umami effect that satisfies the palate. It become soft but with a slight chewy crust and a caramelly tone to it.
You can intensify the flavour further by adding herbs or spices like garlic, thyme and nutmeg to the vegetable or change the texture by adding bread crumbs and parmesan for example!
I like to cut my cauliflower in to thick chunks right across the vegetable and lay these on a baking tray or glass oven dish that I have lightly oiled with virgin olive oil. Than I will drizzle it with more extra virgin olive oil and season with unrefined salt and pepper. I will than put it into a preheated oven at 180C. I will let it cook for about 20 minutes checking in between if it colours too quickly before cooking through I will pour a little water on the base of the tray so it does not colour too much. To check it is is cooked though just pierce the flesh with a cooking fork it it goes through with little or no resistance it is ready to come out of the oven. Below I give you a few variations on the recipe.
Butter the tray.
Break the cauliflower into large florets. Steam them for about 5 minutes. Than transfer to the tray.
Now finely slice some garlic and scatter this on top of the vegetable than season with salt and pepper.
Put in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Than sprinkle it with fresh bread crumbs and some finely grated parmesan, back in the oven for 5-8 more minutes or till you have a nice pale golden crust.
Cut the cauliflower into thick steaks. Lay on a pre greased baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Put in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes. Than scatter some of your favourite herbs like thyme or marjoram. You can also add some chilli flakes and garlic if you like. Back in the oven for 5-8 more minutes. It is lovely to finish it off with a squeeze of lemon juice for extra flavour.
As Before lay thick slices of cauliflower on a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Rub with a few crushed cloves of garlic and about an inch of grated fresh ginger. Put in the oven to roast for about 15 minutes or till half cooked. Next mix 1 tablespoon of tamari, 2 teaspoon honey and brush this on top of the cauliflower steaks. Sprinkle with 2-3 spring onions cut into 1/2 cm slices. Put back into the oven for 10-12 more minutes. But basting it a couple times in between. If the honey starts to colour too quickly on the tray you can add a little water to release it. Once cooked put on a serving platter and sprinkle with fresh corriander leaves and some sliced fresh red chilli!