Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Oh cauliflower.  You versatile vegetable you.  I cannot get enough of you.

The moment I decided to substitute a lot of my starchy sides with cauliflower was a glorious one.  You cannot go wrong with this veggie and since it has a bland flavor, cauliflower will take on the taste of whatever seasonings you throw on it.  Although cauliflower can be boiled, steamed, mashed, made into a pizza crust, and many other uses, my favorite way to prepare it is ROASTING.

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Roasting veggies is great for anyone that needs a little help with time management.  I can throw the produce in the oven, run some errands, do a load of never-ending laundry, take a shower, walk Teek, research recipes online…you name it!  I love when cooking does not interrupt the ten million other activities on life’s perpetual to-do list.

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

You could honestly eat the cauliflower without the added “zhuzh” (thank you Jenna for adding this word to my vocabulary) of balsamic and parmesan.  It tastes amazing when it is roasted and seasoned with just a little garlic.  But as you know by now I LOVE CHEESE.  And cheesy cauliflower is a classic–why mess with a classic? ;)

Adding balsamic vinegar is something I typically do when I roast veggies.  The balsamic vinegar provides a nice acidity to contrast the creaminess of the cauliflower and cheese.  The balsamic glaze finishes off the dish with a little syrupy sweetness.

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

This balsamic and parmesan roasted cauliflower is a simple, nutritious, and quick side dish that will turn any main dish into a gourmet entree.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

The Players: 
1 cauliflower head
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t garlic powder
Sea salt and cracked pepper
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
1/3 C parmesan, freshly grated (additional tbsp to garnish)
1 T balsamic glaze (optional garnish)

The Rules: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Remove the stem and leaves from the head of cauliflower by using a sharp knife to core the stem.  Then break down and cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets.  Rinse the florets.
  3. Place cauliflower in a gallon-size, resealable plastic bag.  Add oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Seal the bag and shake until florets are evenly coated.
  4. Spread florets on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove cauliflower from oven and place florets in a medium-size mixing bowl, add balsamic vinegar and parmesan, then toss with spatula to coat cauliflower with cheese and vinegar.  Transfer cauliflower back to baking sheet and roast an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove florets from oven and transfer to serving bowl, garnish with drizzle of balsamic glaze and freshly grated parmesan.  Serve warm.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Buffalo CauliflowerOnce, a long, long time ago I was a vegetarian.  It started summer of 8th grade (throwback) when I informed my dad that I thought the way we slaughtered animals was inhumane.  Of course I decided to go on this rant while my dad was preparing steaks for grilling…so he clearly did not see eye to eye with me, nor did he believe that I would follow through on my promise to be a vegetarian.  He bet me $200 that I could not be a vegetarian for a year.  Being the stubborn teenager (still stubborn, but now a young woman) that I was, I decided to be a vegetarian not for one year, but for five.  Clearly, from my blog entries I now eat meat, but to this day I do not eat a lot of red meat.

As a vegetarian, throughout high school and part of college, I learned how to utilize produce in lots of different ways.  One of my favorite vegetables is cauliflower.  It is so versatile.  You can eat it raw, add it to soup, make “rice” or “mashed potatoes” from it, steam it, roast it…you name the cooking method, cauliflower has played a role.

Buffalo CauliflowerThe easiest way to cut a cauliflower is to remove the leaves and then with a sharp knife core the stalk of the cauliflower.  Then cut or break the florets so they are bite-size.

Buffalo cauliflower was a recipe my vegetarian friend, Rebecca, shared with me.  When she told me she was making buffalo cauliflower, my reaction was something like this, “STOP.  How have I not thought of combining two of my favorite ingredients– hot sauce and cauliflower– before?”  She shared her recipe with me and I have modified it a bit to suit my never-satiated, spice-addicted palette.

Buffalo CauliflowerCauliflower is a delicious and nutritious alternative to traditional starchy sides.  It is high in Vitamin C, fiber, and folate and is low in calories and fat!

This recipe is a perfect vegetarian-friendly addition to a football game day food spread.  If you want to make it vegan, omit the butter completely.  It is a yummy tapas-style snack and can accompany many meals as a side.  I love to serve mine with some home-made curry ketchup or greek yogurt ranch dressing.

Buffalo Cauliflower The cauliflower will pick up the bright orange color of the hot sauce, perfect for Halloween festivities.

Hope you enjoy this spicy little number as much as I do.

As always,

Bon Appeteek

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

The Players:

1 head of cauliflower
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t smoked red paprika
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 t garlic powder
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
1/4 to 1/3 C Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (original flavor)
1 T butter

The Rules:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.  Cover bottom of a baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Remove the leaves and stalk of the cauliflower and break/cut florets into bite-size pieces (size of ping pong ball).  Rinse the florets and place in a gallon resealable plastic bag.
  3. Add the olive oil, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the bag.  Seal and shake well until the florets are covered in the oil and spices.
  4. Spread florets evenly on the baking dish.  Bake for 25-30 minutes (until florets are fork tender and start to char).  Transfer florets to a medium-size mixing bowl.
  5. Melt butter in microwave-safe dish, stir in hot sauce.   Pour hot sauce mixture over the florets, and stir gently, using a spatula to prevent florets from breaking into smaller pieces.  Make sure cauliflower is coated evenly with hot sauce.
  6. Place florets back on baking dish and cook an additional 10 minutes.  Serve hot with your favorite dip.