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Over-Roasted Cauliflower

Do you remember when we were told to eat only colorful foods? Eliminate the bland from your plate: consume vegetables and fruit that are green, red, blue, orange. We walked the produce isles looking for health and vibrance, ignoring the scorned white cauliflower.

cauliflower on boardWhat a mistake! Cauliflower is part of the cabbage family, so ergo, it too is one of the healthy foods, full of rich nutrients. (Mushrooms are another exception to the white food rule.)

Cauliflower is so versatile: eat it raw, steamed, roasted. It can be added to soup, marinated as a salad, as part of pasta sauce, mashed into cauli-mashed pototoes, transformed into paleo rice. It’s one of the forgiving foods: over-cooked or undercooked or not cooked at all. It’s own flavor is so mild it readily accepts whatever gets thrown it’s way.

Several years ago I was roasting cauliflower — something that wasn’t usually too well received, just tolerated — with a simple mixture of kosher salt, pepper and olive oil. There was a lot going on, food on the barbecue, appetizers in the living room, various conversations. The noise of life. I checked the oven, realizing it was still too early to remove my pan, I closed the door and started gathering everyone and everything to the table.

As we’re settling in to eat, the cauliflower was remembered. Ouch, it was very well done, a bit burned in spots, brown and crispy all over. One of my sons, always so kind, walked in behind me, took one taste and declared this the best cauliflower he ever tasted! Needless to say he was right, there was not a morsel remaining!!

My often requested, ‘Over-Roasted Cauliflower’ is always a huge hit, and always devoured, and always super-simple. All things we love!!

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Sometimes I’ll just roast the cauliflower with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. But on other occasions when I want that beautiful deep yellow color I add a few extra ingredients.

You can either cut the cauliflower head into florets or use a large knife and cut it into 1/2″ slices. This gets a bit messy near the edges, just cut the outer florets in halves or thirds. As for all the little bits you’re left with, scoop them up and add them to the pan.


cauliflower - pieces

Heat oven to roast at 425°f.


1 head Cauliflower, sliced

Olive Oil

Kosher Salt



Sweet Madras Curry — (optional)

Granulated sweetener — either Sugar or Stevia, (this balances out the curry, if it’s used)

Oil Cooking Spray or Refillable Olive Oil Sprayer (like a Misto, a non-aerosole spray)


Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and lightly spray with oil.

Lay the cut Cauliflower on top.

cauliflower - ingre 3Brush lightly with Olive oil.

cauliflower - seasoned2Sprinkle with kosher salt, pepper, turmeric, sweet madras curry and sugar or stevia.

Note: When you’re sprinkling foods it’s important to keep your hand at least a foot above the food. This way you have more control over what you’re sprinkling, how much you’re sprinkling and the distribution.

After seasoning place the pan in the middle of a hot oven.

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cauliflower - roastedRoast in a 425° oven. The cooking times will vary (sorry!). Start by giving the timer 20 minutes, then, depending on the level of doneness, continue checking every 5-10 minutes until they are browned the way you want them.

cauliflower - roasted 2Cauliflower, like many vegetables, shrinks when roasted.

They can also be roasted for 20 minutes in advance of your dinner. Allow them to sit on the cooking sheet, then 15 minutes before you are going to eat put them back in a hot oven to finish the cooking off — that way they’ll still be warm at the table. Know though, they do cool down very quickly!

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