Oven roasting is a great way to prepare vegetables. The oven browns the vegetables, bringing out their natural sweetness.
It is also a simple, hands off way to make a side dish. I use my cast iron skillet as my roasting pan, and as my prep bowl. Pour the vegetables into the pan, drizzle with olive oil, and toss with salt and pepper – they’re ready to go. Slide the skillet into the oven, and in a half an hour or so, they will be tender, browned, and delicious.1
Cauliflower is perfect for oven roasting in a cast iron pan. Roasting adds sweet notes to its mild flavor. Cauliflower is tasty with a simple coating of olive oil, salt, and pepper, but I sprinkle it with my favorite spice combo – a blend of Spanish smoked paprika and coriander. (I picked up this trick from an Indian friend’s lunch – so if you want to substitute a curry powder, that would work as well.)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Toss the cauliflower with the oil and spices: Set the oven to 400°F. Peel the leaves off of the cauliflower, cut out the core, and discard. Cut the cauliflower florets into bite sized pieces. Put the cauliflower pieces in the cast iron pan. Drizzle the cauliflower with the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt, paprika, coriander, and black pepper, and toss until evenly coated.
Roast the cauliflower: Slide the skillet into the oven. Roast the cauliflower until browned and crispy around the edges and tender all the way through when poked with a paring knife, about 35 minutes. (If you can, toss the cauliflower every 10 to 15 minutes to even out the browning.)
Cuisine: American |Recipe Type: Side Dish
If you are using the oven, even if it isn't 400°F, add the cauliflower. This technique is flexible enough to work anywhere between 350°F and 450°F. Just adjust the timing - it will take about 45 minutes at 350°F, but only 30 minutes at 450°F.
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A half an hour – plus or minus 15 minutes, depending on the vegetable.↩
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