Roasted cauliflower has become the new favorite vegetable side dish for my family. My nearly 2-year-old daughter can’t get enough; she will literally cry when I won’t give her more (not that I usually withhold vegetables from my kids, but in this case, she goes WAY overboard and the after effects aren’t always pretty, if you know what I mean!). My husband can eat half the pan before we even sit down for dinner, and I attribute this to the fact that these roasted little gems taste about as close to popcorn as it gets, without actually being popcorn. That’s right, try them and taste for yourself. It’s pretty amazing!
The best part, of course, is that it’s super quick to throw together. Just cut a head of cauliflower into florets, toss them with oil, salt and pepper, and let the oven do the rest. To get the popcorn-like flavor I mentioned, go a little heavy on the olive oil and be sure to roast until the cauliflower is well browned.
Oh yeah, and if all that isn’t enough to make you want to try this recipe, how about the health benefits of cauliflower? For starters, it’s super low in calories with only 25 calories per cup raw, not to mention it’s fat free. But on top of all that, this cruciferous vegetable (in the same family as kale, cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts), is high in vitamin C and other compounds that can help protect against heart disease and cancer.
I hope cauliflower becomes a regular on your table, like it has on mine!
Wash and trim the cauliflower head.
Cut into 2-inch florets.
Arrange cauliflower in a pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Roast until browned and tender.
Yield: 6 servings (about 4 cups total)
Nutrition Info (per serving): 58 cals, 1 g pro, 4 g carb, 5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g sat fat, 1 g fiber, 217 mg sodium
1 2 1/2-pound head cauliflower
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove any base leaves from the cauliflower head. Wash cauliflower. Cut out the core and cut the cauliflower heat into 2-inch florets. Arrange florets in a single layer in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
2. Roast cauliflower, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until just tender and browned in spots, stirring once halfway through roasting.