If I had to eat a vegetable only one way for the rest of my life, I would ask for spicy roasted cauliflower. Roasting turns plain old one-note cauliflower into a nuanced, layered, and completely new vegetable. It’s sweeter, more complex, slightly nutty, and totally beguiling. Would I get bored if handed a life sentence of roasted cauliflower? Never.–Charmian Christie
LC What Folks Are Saying Note
“So good even a non-cauliflower-eater will change his or her mind.” That’s what folks are saying about this roasted cauliflower recipe with hints of smoked paprika and cayenne. As for that green sauce alongside the cauliflower in the photo above, we gotta say, we were so focused on the sassy and spicy roasted cauliflower, we totally forgot about it. Oops. Oh well. Not necessary.
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 45 M
- Serves 3 to 4
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or mild olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)
- 1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
- 2. Cut the cauliflower into quarters. Then cut away the thickest part of the core. You can now pull the florets apart with your fingers or cut them with the tip of a paring knife. You want the florets to be 1 1/2 inches or so in size. (Cutting the cauliflower into uniform pieces is essential for even roasting. You should have about 4 generous cups florets.) Place the cauliflower in a large bowl.
- 3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, chili powder, paprika, salt, and a good grinding black pepper. Pour over the cauliflower florets and toss to thoroughly coat.
- 4. Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring after 10 to 15 minutes. You want the cauliflower to be deep golden and beginning to crisp at the edges.
- 5. Serve the roasted cauliflower with the lime wedges, if desired.
Crisper Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Variation
- The author notes that for even crisper results, you should rely on your oven’s convection setting, if it has one, and adjust the temperature accordingly.