You guys. I have a secret…I don’t like cauliflower.
Scratch that. I didn’t like cauliflower. Until now.
There are very few foods I can truly say I don’t like. Sure, I have preferences like everyone else, but there are almost no foods I can look in the eye and say, “I don’t like you!” A couple exceptions: water chestnuts. I just can’t get on board with these slimy, strangely textured discs. Wouldn’t you know, my husband LOVES water chestnuts, like LOOOHUHVES them. Ok I had full intentions of listing “a couple” of exceptions but that is really the only one I can think of right now. Water Chestnuts. And Cauliflower. Well, until now.
I don’t really have a reason for not liking cauliflower, but I think it is because I usually encounter it raw. I’m actually not sure I love it raw, yet. I can take out a veggie platter like nobody’s business. Give me a veggie platter and in a few short minutes it’ll look like an entire youth soccer team got after it after a particularly grueling game. Everything that is, except the cauliflower, which is neat and tidy and untouched in it’s little square.
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t give up easily. So from time to time I try out cauliflower. And finally, I’ve got a winner! I saw a version of this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Eat, Live, Run, a few months ago and mentally bookmarked it for a future try-to-like-cauliflower moment. And I am so glad I did! I tweaked it a little bit, most notably with the addition of maple syrup. I just love the combo of cayenne and maple syrup. Especially on roasted veggies because the maple syrup helps with the natural caramelization you get from roasting. Woah, my mouth just totally filled with saliva.
Grab one head of cauliflower and cut it into florets. Then make the spice rub. Cayenne, garlic powder, salt, and cumin. Toss your cauliflower on a lined sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, then sprinkle on the rub. Time to get a little messy! Use the best tool at your disposal (your hands!) to toss everything together.
Then just pop it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Tossing a couple times for even caramelization.
You end up with tender, spicy, slightly sweet hunks of cauliflower that totally made a believer out of me! With this recipe in my back pocket cauliflower is going to claim a regular spot in my fridge!
- one head cauliflower, cut into florets
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
- 1½ teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Combine garlic powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a small bowl. Stir to mix
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spread out cauliflower
- Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil and maple syrup
- Sprinkle spice mix over cauliflower
- Using your hands, toss the cauliflower until evenly coated
- Bake 30-40 minutes, tossing several times during cooking