When I introduced our offset basting tasting saucing spoons, we showed clips of my basting roast cauliflower (above, photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman), numerous people asked me how to I cooked the caulflower.  And just today, Ted Allen said in an email he’d roasted plenty of cauliflower but never thought to do it whole, loved the presentation it would make.  Indeed, it can be roasted cut or whole.  Cut cauliflower cooks faster and there’s a lot more surface that gets browned (it’s what I do when I forget to start the whole cauliflower in time).  But cooking it whole is easier, and it looks so cool while it’s roasting and does make a tantalizing presentation at the table.  Either way, roasted cauliflower is a great dish, either as a side dish to a bigger meal or as the center piece of a meatless meal. When I make this, Donna invariably says, “This is sooo good,” with the implication that I don’t cook it nearly enough.

The following recipe for roasted cauliflower is from my new book, Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, a Cook’s Manifesto.

Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 ounces/80 grams butter, at room temperature or softened
  • kosher salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 425˚F/220˚C.
  2. Cut the stem off the cauliflower as close to the base as possible and remove any leaves. Rub oil all over the cauliflower.
  3. Put the cauliflower in an oven-proof skillet. Slide the pan into the oven and roast the cauliflower for 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and smear the soft butter over the surface. Sprinkle with a four-finger pinch of salt.  Roast the cauliflower for another 30 to 45 minutes, basting it several times with the butter, which will have browned.  The cauliflower in the picture has about 15 more minutes of roasting. It’s done when you can insert a paring knife into it and feel no resistence. It should be completely tender.

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© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2011 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved.