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Roasted cauliflower on a baking sheet.
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Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Parmesan

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Lemon cooks up crispy and caramelized in 40 minutes or less. It's easy and delicious, the perfect weeknight side dish!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 105kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cauliflower florets (about 1 large head, see note 1)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon (see note 2)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (1 ounce, see note 3)

Instructions

  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.
  • In a large bowl, add cauliflower, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt to taste and pepper (I like at least 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sometimes I do a little more).
  • Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Roast until florets are tender-crisp and browning around the edges, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and toss to coat. Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted, about 1 to 2 minutes longer. 

Notes

  1. Cauliflower: Look for one that is bright off-white, firm and heavy, without any brown discoloration or soft spots. Cut the cauliflower florets into pieces that are all about the same size so they cook evenly.
  2. Lemon: The zest of one lemon (about 1 teaspoon) can be added with the lemon juice. Just zest the lemon before you cut it to squeeze it.
  3. Parmesan: Any hard, aged cheese will work well instead. Think Parmesan, grated Asiago, pecorino, or Romano cheese.
  4. High temperature formula: I like to roast every vegetable at 400 degrees and just adjust the baking time, keeping an eye out for signs of doneness. But remember the Farenheit 451 rule: Books burn at 451 degrees, and so does parchment paper. That’s why I chose 400 degrees as my baseline, even though some vegetables could be done quicker at a higher temp.
  5. Keep things dry: After you rinse your vegetables, pat them dry or allow them to air dry before they go into the oven. More moisture = more steam = less toasty crisp bits.
  6. Crowd control: Crowded vegetables create steam which prevents them from getting toasty. The baking sheet surface in contact with the broccoli is what gives your roasted vegetables those brown, crunchy bits. Also, flip your veggies halfway through cooking so the other side has a chance to get just as delicious.
  7. Roasting frozen cauliflower: Roast frozen cauliflower right out of the bag, but raise the oven temp to 450. Don’t let the broccoli thaw out first, otherwise it’ll turn soft and won’t ever get crispy.
  8. Leftovers: Reheat the leftovers as a side (maybe with cheese on top?) or enjoy them cold, tossed into salads with leafy greens, quinoa, hard-boiled eggs, raisins, and red wine vinaigrette.
  9. Freezing: Cauliflower freezes well raw or cooked as long as you store it in freezer ware or a freezer-friendly bag. Place the cubes on a baking sheet, spaced out so they don’t touch each other, and freeze until very firm. Bag them up once they’re frozen.  The cauliflower should last 10-12 months in the freezer.
  10. Yogurt sauce: A good-quality plain yogurt mixed with fresh garlic, olive oil, and fresh herbs makes a tasty sauce for roasted vegetables of all kinds.

Nutrition

Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 345mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1mg