Italian Roasted Cauliflower

This roasted cauliflower combines Italian ingredients and delicious browned veggie goodness for an amazing and easy side dish!

This roasted cauliflower combines Italian ingredients and delicious browned veggie goodness for an amazing and easy side dish!

Why Roast Your Vegetables?

I’m in love with oven roasted vegetables. They brown at the edges and get so sweet and delicious. Way tastier than steaming or sauteing them, definitely. What I love even more than their flavor though is how much easier they are to make than any other preparation. When you steam or sauté vegetables the timing is really specific; even a minute too long can result in overcooked mush. You have to stand over them, watching and stirring to make sure that they don’t overcook.

With roasted vegetables, you can walk away. I set a timer so I don’t forget about them though. Roasted veggies are simply more forgiving than other types. A few extra minutes can even make them better since more time means more browning.

Roasted Cauliflower

My favorite roasted vegetable is roasted cauliflower. I never used to be a huge fan of cauliflower at all but roasting it was like a gateway drug. I became addicted to it roasted and then started to love it every other way. And while I now do all kinds of things with cauliflower, I always go back to what got me hooked, sometimes adding some new flavors or methods to keep it interesting. If you’re looking for more ideas, check out this Cauliflower with Mustard Parmesan Crust.

How to Cook Italian Roasted Cauliflower

To make it you whisk together tomato paste, olive oil, and a bit of Dijon mustard. Note that the oil won’t fully incorporate. That’s ok. It might even be a good thing since I think that’s why some bits of tomato paste stay separate on the cauliflower and end up browning more.

Then, add Parmesan cheese and seasonings before combining the mixture with cauliflower florets. Bake until it’s slightly darkened in spots and has the desired tenderness. For me, I like it not quite fork-tender, about 20-25 minutes at 425°F. If you like it softer, you might want to roast it for longer at a slightly lower temperature so that it doesn’t get too dark before it gets soft enough.

Here’s my quick Italian Roasted Cauliflower recipe:

 

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Italian Roasted Cauliflower


  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Description

This roasted cauliflower combines Italian ingredients and delicious browned veggie goodness for an amazing and easy side dish!

If you like your cauliflower more tender, roast at a lower temperature for longer (e.g., 375°F for 35 minutes).


Ingredients

  • 5 tsp. tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1 medium head cauliflower

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large bow,l whisk together the tomato paste, olive oil, and Dijon mustard. Note that the olive oil will not fully incorporate. That’s ok. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Break the head of cauliflower into florets and add them to the tomato paste mixture. Stir using a spatula to make sure the sauce is getting onto the cauliflower, which should end up stained red. Use the spatula to transfer all the cauliflower and sauce to a large baking sheet.
  4. Roast until darkened in spots and is tender-crisp when stuck with a fork, 20-25 minutes. Stir gently with a metal spatula and, if desired, sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese to serve.
Video by Leigh Olson. Article, photos and recipe by Christine Pittman.
This post originally appeared in October 2014 and was revised and republished in March 2020.