Easy Cook: Roasted Cauliflower

Have you ever gone grocery shopping and purchased a gorgeous vegetable or piece of fruit on a whim just because it looked so tempting. But alas, it set on the kitchen counter for several days until it was too over-ripe to use? Yes, ripe produce spoils quickly. It is nice to have some easy ways to prepare the vegetable or fruit with ingredients that are generally in a home pantry; a recipe not requiring alot of time or effort. Hence, Easy Cook: Roasted Cauliflower.

This gorgeous cauliflower was headed towards becoming spoiled. Boiled cauliflower is fine; but I was interesting in cooking something a little more elegant. But a simple recipe, too.

I remembered eating at the quaint New Orleans’ Restaurant, 1000 Figs. The Roasted Brussels Sprouts was outstanding; we’ve returned to this restaurant several times just for this dish. Why not roast the cauliflower instead of the Brussels Spouts?

I searched the internet for ideas and came up with a simple recipe; just a few ingredients that I already had on hand, not too many cooking pots and pans; not many steps. Hence the title “Easy Cook.”

Mediterranean Diet

There are just 5 ingredients: a medium-size head of cauliflower (mine weighted 2 lb), garlic, olive oil, salt and lemon juice. The ingredients (cauliflower, garlic and olive oil) follow the Mediterranean Diet  — a heart healthy diet.  This is a very healthy way to prepare cauliflower. The salt – 1 tsp – is a generous amount for this diet; it could be reduced. Likewise, the olive oil could be increased to 4 Tbsp if you like a richer dish.

For ease – and to save on pots and pans – I cut the cauliflower florets off the stem and placed them in a one-gallon size zip-lock bag. Then I mixed the olive oil, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl and poured this over the cauliflower. After sealing the bag, it was easy to mix the olive oil to coat all cauliflower. It saved on the amount of olive oil needed. 

After spreading cauliflower florets onto a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil, dull side up, this was placed in a pre-heated 400 degree oven to roast.

After 15 minutes, I stirred the cauliflower around on the baking pan and sprinkled the coarsely chopped garlic on the florets. I had saved the remainder of the olive oil-salt-lemon juice and placed the chopped garlic in it to soak up some of the olive oil. Adding the garlic at the beginning of the baking time resulted in thoroughly burnt garlic.

The cauliflower was roasted for 15 additional minutes. After 30 minutes total, the cauliflower was tender and some were nicely browned. It was delicious — it was tempting to eat the entire head of cauliflower, but I saved some to share with my husband.

Easy Cook: Roasted Cauliflower

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt (can be reduced to 1/2 tsp)
  • 1Tbsp course chopped garlic cloves

Method and Steps

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into bite size florets by cutting them off the core and place these into a 1-gallon size zip-lock bag.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Pour over the florets in zip-lock bag. Seal the bag and use your hands mix the olive oil with the cauliflower  inside the bag until all the florets are coated.
  4. Add the chopped garlic to the remainder of the olive oil mixture in the small bowl, stir and set aside.
  5. Spread the cauliflower florets on a baking sheet with is covered with aluminum foil with dull side up.
  6. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Open oven door, carefully remove the baking sheet, stir the florets with tongs. Florets will be steaming. Sprinkle chopped garlic over the florets and return to oven. Bake for 15 minutes longer.
  7. Remove from oven and serve hot.

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