Far from Boring: Roasted Cauliflower

by Maris Callahan on March 22, 2011

I’d never understood when people would tell me that they didn’t have time to cook. If you have time to eat, then you probably have time to cook. Well, it turns out there are people who don’t have time to eat and I’ve become one of them.  Between my restaurant job, client work and writing I clock in about 120 hours of work per week – which is enough work for three people. Which leaves less kitchen time than I’m used to.

So, I understand what people say when they claim that they have no time to cook. Working in a restaurant, I can usually eat at work and when I wake up, I’m typically too tired to want anything heavier than coffee and cereal or a Luna Bar. Sad, but true.

But, no matter how much I work, I’m not happy unless I’m dirtying at least half of the dishes in my kitchen on a daily basis so I have been cranking out some of my favorite recipes – new and old. If you don’t have a lot of time to cook there is no law that says you need to create entire, elaborate meals, even though you might want to. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

White cauliflower looks boring and bland when it’s perched in a crudite, but can actually be exciting when you look for it in the rainbow of colors available at the supermarket or your farmer’s market. Purple, green and orange cauliflower can all brighten up a dish and make your vegetables more appealing.

Pick three colors (and it’s okay if you pick them because they look nice in your bright green serving dish) and lightly roast them with a little bit of lemon and Parmesan cheese for a simple side dish – or even a snack if raw veggies sound too dull.

Roasted Cauliflower
Serves 4

What You Need:

1 small head purple cauliflower (about 1/2 pound)
1 small head green cauliflower (about 1/2 pound)
1 small head white cauliflower (about 1/2 pound)
Juice from half a large lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut cauliflower into florets – they should look like little branches – and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the pan and toss so that each piece of cauliflower is coated evenly. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice and toss again.

Place dish uncovered into the oven and let cook until tops of cauliflower have turned light brown, for about 25 minutes. To test for doneness, prick each piece with a fork. Pieces should be tender and easily pierce the cauliflower. Remove from oven serve immediately.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking March 22, 2011 at 11:31 am

120 hours! Okay, I’m going to stop complaining about how much I work :)

I love any veggie roasted — and tis looks yummy! Thanks, Maris!


melissa @IWasBornToCook March 22, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I love roasted cauliflower…just bought a head yesterday to roast tomorrow. Yours looks great.


Daryl March 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm

That looks absolutely scrumptious. Way to make a bland vegetable delicious!!!


patsy March 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

roasted cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies! I also like to add some panko bread crumbs for some extra crunch – the kids LOVE it!


Roz March 23, 2011 at 12:48 am

I bow at your feet….don’t know how you keep up with all your commitments and still BLOG!? LOVE LOVE roasted cauliflower. (and you are right, it DOES look pretty in the green bowl). Take care of yourself busy lady!!!!


marla March 23, 2011 at 2:31 am

Maris, your blog updates look wonderful! Roasted cauliflower is one of my all time favorite ways to prepare veggies. Well worth the time it takes to roast. I make giant batches at a time so they are ready when I need ‘em. xo


Sarah Caron March 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Oooh! I love roasted cauliflower. This one looks lovely.


lisa keys March 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm

my new favorite way to eat cauliflower-thanks for sharing


Allison @ Running With Mascara March 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Ooohhh, thanks for this recipe! Weirdly, cauliflower is my favorite veggie, especially when it’s roasted with curry powder! I’m totally trying this recipe!


secret menu March 24, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Mmm, wonderful recipe! And the leftovers make awesome soup (with a little veggie broth and cream–and my trusty hand blender, of course).


NancyC March 25, 2011 at 3:31 am

This sounds great–I like that it has lemon juice and parmesan cheese as ingredients, too! I’ll definitely have to try this!


The Food Hunter March 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm

120 hours sure is a lot…love that you can still find time to cook delicious dishes.


amanda@seegirlcook April 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm

i am a huge lover of cauliflower, and roasting it is one of my favorite ways to eat it. i really like how you used the different colors, really brings a lot more interest into the dish! yumm!:)


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