Are some of your favorite recipes the most minimalist? This whole roasted cauliflower recipe fits the bill and is probably the best simple recipe you’ll ever have.
The cauliflower is seasoned extremely well both inside and out.
In most cauliflower recipes, cauliflower plays a supporting role. For this one, it’s actually the star in a simple 3-ingredient recipe inspired by an Israeli technique for roasting and seasoning cauliflower that I learned from Christopher Kimball of Cooks Illustrated fame. The fact that I was in the Grand Canyon listening to Led Zepplin, probably contributed.
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER INGREDIENTS
- Whole Cauliflower Head
- Olive oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Aleppo Pepper (optional)
Cauliflower naturally is pretty bland stuff. It’s why most recipes call for copious amount of salt, butter, dairy, etc. to flavor it up. The simple way to avoid these tactics is to boil the cauliflower in seasoned broth essentially brining it. This ensures the inside is seasoned well.
Once you workout the interior you can season the outside however you like. I used a basic dry rub of salt, pepper, and Aleppo pepper. The olive oil adds some flavor but is more for adhesion as in making the spices stick.
All cauliflower types work but if available choose a colored one as they present beautifully, giving the impression you worked extremely hard
Choose smaller cauliflower heads, as larger ones can lead to an overcooked exterior and undercooked interior
Don’t skimp on the salt when poaching, follow the recipe amount to ensure full seasoning
Don’t leave the cauliflower in the water longer than the recipe calls for as you don’t want it to absorb too much water which will impact texture. Similarly, let it drain adequately before roasting
MORE CAULIFLOWER RECIPES
Making This Recipe
If you make this simple 2-step whole roasted cauliflower recipe, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them. You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes!
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- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- Black pepper and kosher salt to taste
- 2 pound head cauliflower leaves trimmed
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Aleppo Pepper optional
- Heat the oven to 475 degrees F with rack in the middle position.
- In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup salt then lower in the cauliflower.
- Cook for 5 minutes EXACTLY starting from the time you drop the cauliflower into the pot. Flip the cauliflower with a large spoon after the first two minutes.
- Transfer the cauliflower stem side down to a colander and drain for 10 minutes.
- Transfer cauliflower stem side down to a baking dish. Rub the top with oil and sprinkle with black pepper and Aleppo.
- Roast, rotating the dish once or twice. Spoon any oil drippings over the cauliflower until the cauliflower browns and a knife/metal skewer when inserted to the center meets no resistance roughly 20-25 minutes.
- Let cool for five minutes before serving.