cook\'s illustrated roasted cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
medium in size, about 2 pounds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
plus extra for drizzling
salt and pepper
  • baking sheet
  • spatula or palette knife
While this recipe is more technique-focused rather than ingredient-driven, the recipe is incredibly simple and it yields great results. With the timing below, the cauliflower turns out sweet and slightly charred, crispy and soft, tender and delicious. We'll make this over steamed cauliflower any day. These are best when fresh out of the oven.
Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position then preheat the oven to 475°F.
Trim the outer leaves of the cauliflower. Leave the stem, but trim it to be flush with the bottom. Cut the head into 8 equal wedges so that the core and its florets remain intact. Place the wedges with the cut side down directly on the baking sheet.
Drizzle the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently rub to distribute seasoning, then flip the wedges and repeat.
Cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove foil then roast for 8-12 minutes, until the bottoms of the cauliflower are golden.
Pull the baking sheet out of the oven and flip the wedges with a spatula or palette knife. Roast for another 8-12 minutes until the cauliflower is golden all over.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.
The original recipe calls for parchment paper, but I've read that most parchment paper shouldn't go into ovens hotter than 400°F, so I opted for foil the first time I made this. Foil is my least favorite cookie sheet liner because it is expensive and the food sticks to it. As predicted, the cauliflower stuck to it, making it hard to turn. The next time I made this dish, I just cooked it directly on the baking sheet.