I am so grateful that cauliflower has finally gotten its moment. Want pizza? Cauliflower crust. Making a stir fry? Cauliflower rice. Creamy thanksgiving side dish? Mashed cauliflower.
For me, this whole roasted cauliflower trumps all other forms. But hey that's just me. I'll let you be the judge, but I have no doubts that this cauliflower will deliver.
1 medium-sized cauliflower
3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ cup fresh orange juice
1½ cups white wine
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp pure maple syrup
6 large cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped herbs of choice
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Trim the base of the cauliflower so that it can sit evenly in a pan, and use a paring knife to cut out the base of the core. Place in a cast iron or high-walled roasting pan.
Stir together the spices, minced garlic, mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, citrus juice + zest and white wine and season with salt and pepper. Pour most of it over the cauliflower, rubbing it into the grooves, then season with more salt and pepper. Reserve the rest for drizzling at the end. Drizzle a little extra olive oil on top, to help it really crisp up, and pop the skillet into the oven. You can tent the cauliflower with foil if you prefer, but mine turned out beautifully without!
Start to baste the cauliflower around 20 minutes in; use a large spoon to douse it with the pan marinade. Then you’ll want to continue to baste every 10 minutes or so for the next 25-30 minutes.
At some point, the top will start to brown to the point of looking burnt; don’t worry, the charring means it's cooking evenly! The pan juices will be reducing as well. The cooking time varies depending on the size of your cauliflower, but, as a general rule, when the florets are all nice and tender and the pan juices have reduced by at least half (around 45 minutes to an hour), take the cauli out of the cooking pan and place it upside down on a separate sheet pan that’s been greased with olive oil or lined with parchment paper.
Cook for another 15 minutes this way, so that the bottom quarter of the head (which up until this point has steamed, more than roasted) has a chance to brown and crisp up a bit. Leave the pan with the juices in the oven so that it continues to simmer and reduce.
When the cauliflower florets are all soft and golden brown and the stem is fork-tender, take the cauliflower and the pan of cooking liquid out of the oven.
Transfer the pan juices to a bowl, being sure to scrape every bit of delicious candied caramelized garlic from the pan. It's seriously insane how good it is.
Combine the reserved marinade with the pan juices, and add in your chopped herbs.
Pour this reserved marinade over your cooked cauli, and enjoy!
I had this with my crispy salmon and a wild rice salad, the recipe of which I adapted from THE one and only Botanica Restaurant in LA. Might be one of the best dinners I've ever made. I know, it's a bold statement to make, but I stand behind it.
If you make this, let me know! Tag me in your photos or send me a message :)