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Heat the oven to 425°F with a rack positioned in the bottom third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the cauliflower into florets, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and optional seasonings (if using), then toss until the florets are evenly coated with oil and seasonings.
Roast 30-35 minutes for small florets, or 40-45 minutes for larger florets. Remove the sheet from the oven once halfway through and flip the cauliflower to ensure even browning. The cauliflower is roasted once golden brown and the stems are tender; you should be able to insert the tip of a paring knife into the stem and meet little resistance.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Heat the oven to 400°F.
Place the cauliflower stem end up on a cutting board. Break off the tough outer leaves. Use a paring knife to carefully cut around the stem and remove the lower portion of the core, being careful to keep the florets intact.
Drizzle the cauliflower with the olive oil, then rub all over. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
Place 1 cup water in a dutch oven, then fit with a trivet (or a balled up piece of foil). Position the prepared cauliflower head into the trivet or on top of the foil.
Cover, then transfer to the oven. Roast 30 minutes covered, then remove the lid and roast an additional 25-30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown and and a knife inserted into the center meets little resistance.
Remove from the oven and rest 10 minutes. Remove the cauliflower using a large slotted spoon. Slice into wedges and drizzle with lemon juice, lemon zest and parmesan cheese.
Heat a 12” skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers. Add the cauliflower, toss to coat in the fat, then arrange in a single layer. Sear, undisturbed, for 3 minutes. Toss the cauliflower, then sear an additional 3 minutes undisturbed.
Add 2 tbsp water, then cover the skillet. Cook covered for 3 minutes. Remove the lid then cook 1-2 minutes more, or until the water has evaporated and the florets are tender and golden brown.
Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately. See notes for variations.
Pour ½ cup water into the inner pot. Position a trivet or all metal steamer basket in the pot. Place the florets into the steamer basket, then sprinkle with ½ tsp kosher salt.
Secure the lid and ensure the pressure valve is set to Sealing. Program to HIGH pressure 3 minutes for crisp tender florets, or HIGH pressure 4 minutes for soft, mashable florets. It will take approximately 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure.
Once the timer goes off, press the Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot. Then perform a manual pressure release by turning the venting knob from Sealing to Venting. Once the float valve has dropped, open the lid away from your body to allow the steam to escape. Carefully remove the steamer basket with oven mitts, or remove the florets with a slotted spoon.
Serve crisp tender florets immediately. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the olive oil or melted butter, the remainder of the salt, plenty of black pepper, and other toppings as desired (see notes). For uses for mashable florets, see notes.
Place the florets into a microwave safe bowl then sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt. Add the water, then cover the bowl with a plate.
Microwave 5 minutes for crisp tender or 6 minutes for soft, mashable florets.
Strain the cauliflower from the steaming water. Serve crisp tender florets immediately. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the melted butter or olive oil, remainder of the salt, pepper, and other toppings as desired (see notes). For uses for mashable florets, see notes.
Fill a pot large enough to accommodate a steamer basket with 1.5-2” water. Position the steamer basket in the pot, then bring the water to a simmer over high heat.
Place the florets into the steamer basket, then sprinkle with ½ tsp kosher salt. Reduce the heat to medium low to maintain a steady simmer, then cover.
Steam 5-6 minutes for crisp tender florets or 8-9 minutes for soft, mashable florets.
Remove the steamer basket from the pot. Serve crisp tender florets immediately. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the melted butter or olive oil, remainder of the salt, pepper, and other toppings as desired (see notes). For uses for mashable florets, see notes.