I have fond memories of eating fried cauliflower with sloppy joes as a child. What can I say? Even though I grew up in Texas, my parents are decidedly from the Midwest. The only reason for this departure from potatoes I believe is because it was the 80s and my mom was probably trying to be “healthier”. Whatever the reason, I loved it and kids loving cruciferous vegetables is a big win. Do you want to know the best part of eating the fried cauliflower? It was the pieces that got a little too crispy and a little more than brown. You'll get plenty of crispy brown bits with our roasted cauliflower recipe!
Flash forward to my mid-20s when Scott and I were visiting friends that at the time, lived in Oakland. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant, but I know we ordered the roasted cauliflower and it took me back to my childhood. Of course, I had to recreate it, but better.
I knew Scott wouldn't be interested in anything cauliflower. He doesn’t eat many vegetables, and he will always choose roasted potatoes over pretty much any side, but especially cauliflower. However, a girl can only eat roasted potatoes so many times, and especially if you are watching your carbs, roasted cauliflower is a great, and delicious alternative.
Two sides, one pan
My favorite part is that you can side by side the potatoes and the cauliflower, so everyone wins! What do I mean? I mean you can split the pan with foil or use two separate pans in the same oven as our roasted potatoes because this roasted cauliflower cooks using the exact same method.
The cauliflower is tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and well-seasoned. It’s better than the fried cauliflower of my childhood, and frankly a lot less work. If you hate steamed cauliflower, there's a great chance you could still love this roasted cauliflower recipe. Trust me, try it!
You can vary the seasoning to suit your liking, but this is how I usually prepare the dish. Heat the oven to 350 F. Start with a head of cauliflower, remove the leaves and break or cut out as much of the hard stem as possible. Cut the cauliflower into no larger than 2” florets. It should be bite-size. (Of course, you can always buy the precut stuff, but when you cut it up yourself you get flat sides and a greater surface area for caramelization.)
Rinse the florets, place them into a bowl, and mix with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin. Line a sheet pan with foil. Drizzle olive oil on the foil and then place florets spread out on the pan so that they are in a single layer. If you can’t get a single layer use an additional pan, crowded cauliflower will be steamed cauliflower and not roasted cauliflower.
Roast for 20 minutes at 350. Remove from the oven and turn the florets over. Increase the heat to 425 and roast for another 10-15 minutes or until desired caramelization level. Serve hot or at room temperature. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook, and let me know in the comments if this roasted cauliflower recipe made a cauliflower fan out of you!
- Cut a head of cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and place it in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle with olive oil and add salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic.
- Stir or toss to distribute seasoning.
- Drizzle a sheet pan with olive oil and pour the seasoned cauliflower on it and spread relatively evenly.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, remove from oven and flip cauliflower with a spatula, careful not to splash yourself with hot oil.
- Place the cauliflower back into the oven and increase heat to 425°F, cook for an additional 15 minutes, flipping the cauliflower again midway.