Roasted Cauliflower with Manchego & Crushed Almonds

I love cauliflower. I think it’s often overshadowed by its more robust cruciferous cousin broccoli, and so it’s easy to overlook and forget how versatile and delicious it can be. I love it made into soup, steamed, boiled, grilled, sauteed, and drizzled with cheese sauce. But perhaps roasting it is my fave. It gets crispy on the edges and intensely flavorful. If you’ve never tried it, do it tonight! It’s easy and it’s cheap.

Roasting makes cauliflower awesome!
This dish is simple and satisfying. If you have access to a good farmer’s market I urge you to buy your veggies there. For so many reasons it’s better to buy local and organic, but organic, small-farm cauliflower in particular tastes much better than the commercially-produced stuff.
1 head of cauliflower, woody stems trimmed off and discarded
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a little more for drizzling
kosher salt and cracked pepper
2 tablespoons minced onion
¼ cup manchego cheese, coarsely ground in a food processor
2 tablespoons blanched almonds or marcona almonds, smashed with a mallet (inside a Ziploc bag)
finely minced fresh mint leaf
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Heat a cast iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan over high heat for about three minutes. Add olive oil and swirl the pan around to coat the bottom. Add cauliflower in a single layer. Season with salt & pepper to taste. I recommend seasoning generously, as cauliflower can be a bit bland. Add onions and drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top, perhaps another tablespoon or so.
Char cauliflower on one side (about four or five minutes) and then with a pair of tongs flip each floret over to char on the other side. Cook on high for another four minutes or so.
Put skillet in the oven for about eight minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese and nuts over the top. Return skillet to oven and cook cauliflower until fork tender, about five minutes or so.
Put cauliflower in a serving bowl and garnish with fresh mint.
This makes a good side dish for chicken or fish or anything vaguely Mediterranean. Hope you like it!

4 thoughts on “Roasted Cauliflower with Manchego & Crushed Almonds

  1. Made this last night for dinner, it was delicious! Added a handful of chopped dinosaur kale leaves from the garden, which added a nice chewy/crunchy quality, plus a bit of color contrast. Yum!

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