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Roasted cauliflower with chimichurri is an unexpected way to serve up the familiar vegetable.
I can’t remember when I decided to try cauliflower again. Like so many other vegetables, my only experiences with it as a youngster involved steaming, which doesn’t lend to much flavor, good or otherwise.
It often appeared on the vegetable platters during family celebrations, and while I was encouraged to try the “white trees”, I stuck with the safety of carrot sticks and celery.
Cauliflower is abundant here in the winter, so we find it at the market and in our CSAs in snow white, sunny yellow, vibrant purple, and peculiar green.
Perhaps these colors are what drew me in, finally, or maybe it was eating roasted cauliflower at a restaurant and realizing that it can, indeed, be something to crave.
Roasting cauliflower, as with any other vegetable, caramelizes the starchy sugars and transforms it. Tender with crispy edges and just slightly sweet, roasted cauliflower is mild enough to be paired with a wide variety of seasonings and sauces.
Often I simply toss chopped cauliflower with olive oil and a curry spice blend before roasting, making them poppable savory explosions, but this time I decided to embrace chimichurri.
Chimichurri is a parsley and garlic-based sauce that is most often used with Argentinian cooking, especially steak. However, it zests up anything you put it on (it’s wonderful on this grilled chimichurri chicken) and is a great way to make everyday vegetables seem less boring.
It’s also extremely easy to make and economical, so you can make a large batch of it for about a dollar — less if you grow your own herbs.
Once you have the chimichurri made, you can store it in the refrigerator until you need it. I roasted this cauliflower cut into steaks, but you could also chop the head into small pieces as for a veggie platter, and serve the sauce on the side or toss it all together after cooking.
No matter what, it’s a wonderful way to embrace the cauliflower!
Roasted Cauliflower with Chimichurri
- 1 large cauliflower
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil, divided
- 1 cup packed parsley
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced white onion
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut cauliflower top to stem into 1/2-inch-thick slices. You should get two complete steaks, and several smaller side slices.
- Brush cauliflower on both sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Roast cauliflower for 20 minutes, until tender and beginning to caramelize.
- Meanwhile, puree remaining ingredients in a food processor until it is not quite completely smooth. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
- Serve cauliflower steaks with sauce drizzled over the top.
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