Roasted Cauliflower

Why make this?

This recipe for roasted cauliflower is easy and brings out the best in brassicas.1
The smoked paprika is the secret ingredient that kicks it up to a whole other level.
The result is a plate of smoky, salty, tender vegetable bits with crispy edges. It goes great as a side to a meat-based dish or can stand alone as a main attraction. Cauliflower is my go-to vegetable to roast, but you can use any type of hardy produce including broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, fennel root, or carrots. Or make a mix of anything you find interesting in the produce aisle.

Time

15 minutes for prep. 20 minutes for roasting.

Serves

4 as a side dish

Ingredients

1 large or 2 small cauliflower, rinsed and cut into thumb-sized florets (See note.)
3 glugs of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Kosher salt, about a teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper, about ¼ teaspoon
Smoked paprika, about 1 teaspoon
Lemon (optional)
Cilantro, minced (optional)

Steps

  1. Heat oven to 425℉/220℃.
  2. Cut your cauliflower into small florets and put in a large bowl. Glug the olive oil evenly over the cauliflower. Mix with spoon so all pieces are lightly coated. Throw in the garlic. Sprinkle in the salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Toss again. Taste a piece to see if it is seasoned correctly.
  3. Spread cauliflower evenly in one layer over a baking pan. Each piece of cauliflower must touch the metal of the pan.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes or until the bottom edges are brown and crispy. You may want to check in on your veggies at the 15 minute mark to see if they are done as you don’t want them to burn.
  5. This is completely optional as it will be delicious once it comes out of the oven, but I’m channeling my inner Samin Nosrat here. When the cauliflower is nice and crispy, plate it and squeeze a lemon to give it a touch of acid and sprinkle with cilantro.

Notes

Don’t forget to include the stem too. I usually just slice the stem into disks and mix with the rest.
Honestly, think of this recipe as a guide to roasting “Any Kind of” hardy vegetable and not any directive recipe. Mix and match vegetables, seasonings etc. The baking pan is your canvass and you my friend are the painter.


  1. Also known as cruciferous vegetables which always makes me think of a wizarding spell from Harry Potter. 

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