Plain roasted cauliflower is something my family never gets tired of. But every once in a while we go for an extra something, maybe because we’re having company, or just maybe because there’s some extra sauce in the fridge, and plain roasted cauliflower can turn into something special. In this case there was leftover chimichurri sauce from a steak dinner, and I realized it would be a great companion to the vegetables.
You can also add a handful or two of cilantro leaves to the chimichurri sauce, in addition to, or in place of, the parsley. Sometimes citrus juice is used in place of the vinegar in chimichurri sauces….chimichurri is one of the national sauces of Argentina, and as with all national dishes, there are a lot of ways to make them, and pretty much all of them are “right”….depending on who you ask.
I’ve even gone sacrilegious and made ramp chimichurri sauce….because I am such a rebel.
This is equally good made with broccoli as well. Serve the sauce on the side, and let people put some on their plates for dipping, or drizzle it over the whole platter if you know your family will like it.
One little serving tip that it’s taken me years to learn, and that I have to keep reminding myself of: sometimes it’s nicer to not overcrowd the serving plate. In general we like to see foods piled high, platters overflowing….but sometimes when you have a simple and pretty food – whether it’s a plate of lamb chops or scallop kebabs or this cauliflower — it’s nice to let the food have some breathing space on the plate, so you can admire the colors and shapes of the individual pieces.
Not to go all caterer on you but as I look at these photos, I am reminded of that whole less is more thing. Which is sometimes (not always) true.
Roasted Cauliflower with Chimichurri Sauce
- 1 big head cauliflower about 2 ½ to 3 pounds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For The Chimichurri Sauce:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves washed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- kosher or coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves or ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 450°F with the rack placed in the lower third.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets, and place in a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss the cauliflower with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil (your hands are really the best tools for this) and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper, if desired. Roast until slightly browned and tender, turning gently with a spatula once if you remember, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Make the chimichurri sauce while the cauliflower is roasting. In a mini food processor puree the olive oil, parsley, garlic, onions, vinegar, salt and pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Serve the chimichurri on the side and let whomever is interested drizzle some on their cauliflower.
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