Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower

Fall is upon us here in Seattle, and I’m starting to use my oven again. It’s been a few months since I’ve been willing to heat up the house with roasting, but as the leaves outside begin to fall and I pull on my rain boots many mornings, I’m excited to warm up the house, stand near the stove, and enjoy the fragrances blending into an amazing dinner.

Cauliflower is starting to hit the farmers’ markets, and it’s plentiful at the grocery store year-round. This recipe for roasted cauliflower involves a few more steps than just tossing some florets in the oven, but it’s absolutely worth it. And the presentation is beautiful!

I got the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Food52 Genius Recipes. (Use this cookbook with caution. Although it features some wonderful recipes, the book also contains some absolute NOT FOR ME recipes that are full of sugar and other carbs. I’ve decided that the wonderful techniques learned here are worth surviving the temptation. And once in a while, I give in to the temptation and have a little bit of a splurge, too.) The recipe can also be found online on the Food52 website, but the website comes with the same warning as the cookbook.

Both the cookbook and website have a whipped goat cheese to serve alongside the roasted cauliflower, but I skip that part. I made it the first time I tried this recipe, but found it to be too heavy for the delicate cauliflower. Plus, the cauliflower really doesn’t need anything more than a sprinkling of kosher salt to finish it when it’s straight out of the oven. It rarely makes it to the table in my house!

Without further ado, the recipe …

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

2½ cups dry white wine
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 bay leaf
1 whole head cauliflower, stem trimmed and leaves removed
Coarse sea salt, for serving (I just use Kosher)
Olive oil, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 475°.

2. Bring all ingredients except cauliflower to a boil in a pot just large enough to hold the liquid and the cauliflower. You’ll want the cauliflower to be as submerged as possible when you place it in the liquid.

3. Once the liquid is boiling, carefully lower in the cauliflower, reduce the heat, and simmer. Turn occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into the center (about 15–20 minutes).

4. Remove the cauliflower with two slotted spoons or a mesh strainer or spider and transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. (I line my pan with parchment paper to reduce scrubbing time later.)

5. Roast, rotating the pan halfway through, until the cauliflower is brown all over (about 30–40 minutes).

6. Transfer to a plate, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with salt. Or just grab a fork and eat it right out of the pan like my family and I do!