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roasted cauliflower
Economical, Healthy, Quick and Easy, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Roasted Cauliflower

by Nick

When I hear that people don’t like veggies, I first assume that it’s because they’ve never had good ones. That’s not always the case as some people just seriously hate veggies, but 95% of the time I think people don’t like them because they’re used to flavorless, bland sticks.

But veggies, of course, don’t have to be flavorless! Take cauliflower for example. Cauliflower is one of the many veggies that can take on totally different flavors depending on how it’s cooked and what it’s served with. Served raw, it’s crunchy and healthy. Steam it with some butter and it’s rich and smooth. I’ve even served it curried with kale before.

But if you roast cauliflower and lightly coat it with balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese. Well, now you’re in a whole different world. I think this is the kind of dish that can bridge the gap between veggie-hater and veggie-lover.

For starters, this dish is jam packed with flavors. It’s a great side dish for any number of meals and goes great with a glass of red wine. It has the added bonus of being completely idiot proof.

Yield
Serves 4.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Roasted Cauliflower with Balsamic and Parm

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese (divided in half)

Directions

1) Prep your cauliflower by cutting off the green parts and then chopping the vegetable into florets. Try to get them evenly sized.

2) Toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt and pepper, and dried marjoram.

3) Lay your seasoned cauliflower onto a baking sheet. Spread them out so they are in an even layer.

4) Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.

5) Add cauliflower back to the bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of balsamic and half of the Parmesan cheese.

6) Add back to the baking sheet and bake for another 5 minutes.

7) Serve sprinkled with leftover Parmesan cheese.

Adapted from Eating Well in Season.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Prepping the Cauliflower

The hardest part about this dish is prepping the cauliflower and that’s just because it’s kind of a messy veggie.

cauliflower

Pretty.

Start off by chopping off all the green parts around the outside. Then start working from the outside in, chopping florets off. The problem with cauliflower is that when you chop off a floret, very tiny pieces will fly all over the place. It helps if you have a large cutting board.

Try to get all the florets to be roughly the same size so they cook evenly. You will have to cut some in half and possibly cut some into quarters.

florets

Even is important

Next, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the dried marjoram. I don’t really use marjoram that much but it has a nice light citrus flavor. Goes great with the cauliflower.

Nice spice

I don’t use this stuff very much.

Make sure to get your cauliflower evenly coated with all the spices and oil and everything.

Not rocket science.

cauliflower coated

Marjoram freckles!

Roasting

Lay all your oiled and seasoned cauliflower out on a metal baking pan. Spread out the florets to give them plenty of room. It’s okay if they are touching a bit, but spread them out as much as possible.

Bake them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.

Browned cauliflower

Browned food tastes good!

After 20 minutes of roasting, you’ll need these very flavor-packed items:

vinegar and cheese

Flavor town.

After your cauliflower roasts for 20 minutes it should be softer, but have some browned edges. Add it all back to your bowl and toss in 2 Tablespoons of balsamic. Be careful not to overdo it or it will really overpower the other flavors.

Also add half of your Parmesan to the bowl and toss everything together. Then return the cauliflower to the sheet pan and stick it back in the oven for another five minutes or so.

It’s done when the liquid is evaporated. The florets will have almost a glaze on them. So very delicious.

after a second roast

Nice.

I served this side family style. Just kind of let people help themselves! Before serving it, top it off with the other half of the Parm cheese.

finished cauliflower

Don’t forget the extra parm!

The extra Parm may not be completely necessary if you’re watching your diet or something, but it adds a lot flavor.

This is definitely a meat lover’s veggie dish. It’s packed full of flavor and the bonus is that it’s also very easy to make.

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14 comments on “Roasted Cauliflower

  1. This sounds wonderful. I am SO going to make this – not tonight, I've got beans soaking for Navy Bean Soup tonight, but tomorrow night I'm having this cauliflower dish for sure. I would have never thought to add Balsamic to cauliflower – can't wait to try it.

    1. Haha… yea… if anything it makes me more responsible for the products up there! If you buy something that sucks you can find me in the streets and punch my lights out.

  2. I wouldn't have thought to put balsamic on cauliflower either; going to have to try that. Poor cauliflower. It's kind of bland (steamed or raw) and it looks like a brain so it gets a bad rap. But it really comes into its own when roasted and you can hit it with almost any spice combo before you stick it in the over (I like cumin and turmeric) and it comes out like a rock star.

  3. Breaks my heart to think of all the people out there who “don’t like” veggies. Honestly, that breaking sound you hear is the splitting in half of my poor little carrot-eating heart. But roasted cauliflower has been known on more than one occasion to make a convert out of a veggiephobe, so thank you for the good you’ve done here today.

  4. Roasted cauliflower is the best! Roasting it takes it to new heights that veggie haters could never imagine. Love the addition of parm and balsamic, as well!

  5. I'm obsessed with roasted cauliflower right now. I usually do it up with olive oil, butter, crushed garlic and fennel seed. I wouldn't have thought to use marjoram. I seldom use it as well because I'm not crazy about it, but seeing how you say it goes well with cauliflower, I might give it a shot!

  6. I'm trying this recipe tonight for two boys who aren't huge vegetable fans. I've made a similar dish to this- roasted brussel sprouts. It'll turn your vegetable-haters into lovers in no time. Balsamic vinegar, little olive oil, salt, pepper, dash of red pepper flakes for the daring spirits. I highly recommend it!

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