Italian-Style Dry Roasted Cauliflower


Against the Grain

Published by William Morrow

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Cauliflower is one of the salvation vegetables of low-carb eating. Yet like most people, I grew up believing that cauliflower is a vegetable destined only for blanching and boiling, and rarely for the oven. But the opposite is true. The dry heat of the oven in parts a nuttiness to this otherwise bland vegetable. This simple recipe requires nothing at all beyond cutting the cauliflower into florets, tossing them with a little olive oil and coarse salt, and roasting in a medium-hot oven for a little less than an hour. The result is a side dish or starter that is excellent with fish recipes and aromatic lamb recipes.

Serves6 servings

Cooking MethodRoasting



OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseAppetizer, Side Dish

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Halal, Kosher, Lactose-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes


Taste and TextureCrisp, Nutty, Savory

Type of DishVegetable


  • 1 medium cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into small florets
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Toss the cauliflower with the oil, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Place in a shallow pan and bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking another 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove and serve hot or at room temperature, drizzled with lemon juice.


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