Cauliflower is bathed in vibrant pesto and roasted to perfection in this easy, flavorful side dish recipe. This is perfect for adding a little something to your dinner.
I like vegetables a lot. But what I don’t like is boring vegetables — just steamed or boiled and thrown on a plate. I don’t think that does the flavor of any veggies justice. It’s just like cooking with any kind of meat or fish: sure, you could just grill it up and throw a hunk on a plate, but with a little bit of herbs and spices, it can be a spectacular dish.
So I rarely do just plain veggies (unless it’s corn on the cob … mmm … or I am really short on time).
This particular recipe for Roasted Pesto Cauliflower is one I dreamed up while working on the first draft of my cookbook. However, it never made it into the manuscript because my attempts left me wanting: the flavor just wasn’t there and I didn’t have time to tweak it anymore.
This time though, without the pressure of a deadline looming, I perfected the process and the flavor. Roasted Pesto Cauliflower is the side dish you didn’t know you were missing.
And it was. I’ll have to earmark this recipe for a future cookbook (way, way, way down the line … you know after Families Eat Together FINALLY makes its debut).
Editor’s Note: That cookbook wasn’t published. But I’ve written several others since then including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook.
Anyway, this is a quick and easy one. I recommend making your own pesto since it’s so much tastier than the store-bought stuff. But in a pinch, that could easily be used too.
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 1 cup basil pesto
- sea salt
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Wash cauliflower and cut into florets that are about 1-1.5 inches (some smaller ones are okay too). Place into a large Zip-Loc bag. Add pesto. Seal bag, taking care to remove all the excess air. Now, shake, squeeze and toss to completely coat all of the cauliflower.
- Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Spread cauliflower onto the pan in an even layer. Sprinkle with sea salt (to taste).
- Cook for 15 minutes, turning once about halfway through.
- Serve hot.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.