One Pan Velvety Whole Roasted Cauliflower | Your go to side dish
One Pan Velvety Whole Roasted Cauliflower | Your “go to” side dish
Ahhhh you guys! This is cauliflower at it’s BEST! Simple, silky, velvety…..it reminds me a bit of mac-n-cheese, without the cheese!
I must admit, I’ve not always been a fan of cauliflower. It’s a bit bland for my tastes when served raw and let’s be honest – that’s normally how you see it. Thrown on a veggie tray, at a party with all the other goodies and a big bowl of ranch dressing in the middle for dipping. I understand the numerous health benefits that go along with eating your veggies (raw or cooked) but you know at the end of the party the veggies your bagging up to hopefully find someone to eat it is the cauliflower lol
Cauliflower was also introduced to my palate at a young age by being steamed and/or boiled. This vegetable does not really like either of those applications, flavor wise. Steaming and boiling tend to water log the cauliflower and therefore the flavor gets lost.
Not until I started looking at cauliflower as a go-to vegetable did I find it’s beauty. Sauteing and roasting are the way to go if you want all the benefits wrapped into one. Health benefits and flavor profile benefits for your mouth.
This particular recipe includes golden brown butter, breadcrumbs, and parsley. That’s it! So simple, so easy, put it all together and stick it in the oven! I’m all about letting the oven do all the work for me whenever I can.
Start by browning your butter. There are three stages to brown butter, golden, brown and dark (nearly blackened). The concept is simple but the application can be a bit tricky. Your butter can go from perfection to “what the heck?!?!” in a heartbeat. So here’s a quick rundown on browning butter.
Brown butter or Beurre Noisette, simply put, is browning the milk solids in the butter. Start by heating a very light colored pan, over medium low heat, so you can see the color changes accurately. Using the wrong pan can take you from happy to sad very quickly. Once the butter begins to melt, stir or swirl the butter by picking up the pan, holding over the heat (but not touching), and move in a circular motion. You want the water that is in butter to evaporate and the butter to keep moving. You will see foam at first (like the photo above), that is the water evaporating. Once the water evaporates you will be able to see the solids browning on the bottom of the pan. They somewhat resemble minced garlic in size.
Golden Brown: This is the QUICKEST brown butter and is perfect for roasting vegetables. Seriously, this method is a total of maybe three minutes. The butter is ready AS SOON as you see the milk solids start to form. You’ll want to remove it from the heat, even if you think it’s still too light, and transfer it into another non-heated dish. If you don’t transfer the butter out of your hot pan, it will continue to brown past the point you want it too. You will use this method for this recipe as we are roasting the cauliflower in it. The butter will continue to brown slightly in the oven during the roasting process.
Once you have your butter transferred to another container, remove the leaves and stalk from the cauliflower. In the same pan (make sure it is oven safe: stainless steel or cast iron is oven safe) place your cleaned whole cauliflower in the center and pour the golden brown butter on top.
Next, top with the bread crumbs. I chose to use Italian style breadcrumbs for this particular recipe to add a slight herb flavor. If you only have plain breadcrumbs on hand just add in an Italian herb blend seasoning or add a bit of basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme into the breadcrumbs.
That’s it! Put this bad boy in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half and you’re done! Simple, right?
Now, go get your roast on!
Let’s get cooking!
- 1 whole head of cauliflower
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- ¼-1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
- Parsley to taste
- Over medium-low heat, place one stick of unsalted butter into a light colored pan. Let the water evaporate and milk solids start to form. Remove from heat and transfer into a separate container.
- Clean and remove stalk from whole head of cauliflower, keeping the cauliflower intact.
- In an oven safe pan, place the cauliflower right side up and pour butter over the cauliflower.
- Pour breadcrumbs over the cauliflower.
- Place in the middle of oven and roast for 1½ hours. Until a toothpick inserted pushes through the vegetable with ease.
- Remove from oven and add fresh parsley.
- Slice into wedges, like a pizza and enjoy!
- **NOTE: You can spoon the butter that collects in the bottom of the pan over the cauliflower while roasting.