Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Cumin

I have never roasted cauliflower this long - when we roast cauliflower we tend to only roast it for about 30 minutes, which often results in tender, but slightly soggy cauliflower.  I was worried that roasting it this long would result in bitter, overly charred cauliflower.  But it resulted in sweet, crispy, slightly nutty cauliflower.  And when the roast cauliflower itself is that tasty, you don't need a lot of seasonings and flavors.  For this entire head of cauliflower there was less than 2 tsp of spices - the majority of which was cumin.  And yet, the cauliflower ended up tasting buttery and spicy (although the spicy flavor was not unexpected given the red pepper flakes) and not smoky.  I thought it would need some acid, perhaps a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, but it didn't.  The fresh mint and cilantro provided the perfect fresh counterpoint, while the toasted pine nuts provided some nice crunch.  From now on, I am totally going to roast my cauliflower for an hour (provided that it doesn't contain any garlic or anything else that could burn and turn bitter) so it gets that whole sweet, nutty and crispy texture and flavor.

Recipe after the jump!

Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Cumin
Adapted from Food & Wine
4 tbsp grapeseed oil 
scant 1 tsp ground cumin 
1/2 tsp turmeric 
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tsp chopped cilantro 
1 tsp chopped mint

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  In a large bowl, combine the oil, cumin, turmeric, crushed red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.  Toss cauliflower well in spiced oil to coat.  Season with salt.

Spread the cauliflower in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until browned and tender; stir the cauliflower halfway through cooking.

Transfer the cauliflower to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, cilantro and mint and serve.


  1. Hi Vicki! I'd love to try this recipe. I'm a big fan of spices like turmeric and curcumin. Also, how many can it serve? We're a family of six so I wanna know if I should add more. Thanks! :)

    1. Misty, this dish served two of us as an entree portion with a small side salad. If you are a family of six and want to make this as a side dish along with an entree and perhaps a salad you would probably be ok with 1 large head of cauliflower. If you want this as an entree or the only side, I would definitely double it.

  2. I am glad you mentioned not to add garlic because as I was reading you post, I wanted to add garlic or something to it. I like cauliflower but just dont know how to enjoy it. this sounds like a great side dish.

    1. Dixya, the temperature and the amount of time are just too high for the garlic. I think it would be burnt and totally bitter after roasting at 425 for 30 minutes, let alone an entire hour. If you roast cauliflower at 350 or so for 30 minutes, you could totally add garlic.