Roast Cauliflower with Chilli Oil

caulifpThis is one of the most beautiful things I have ever taken out of my oven and probably the easiest side-dish I have ever prepared. On the other hand, it’s one of the simplest recipes I have ever posted on my blog. Such a satisfying result with so little effort is rare; three ingredients, maybe two minutes of preparation, an hour in the oven and, probably for the first time in your life, you will experience the elegance of the cauliflower.

I will not pretend this dish could convert cauliflower haters, but if you like this vegetable, you will appreciate such an unfussy, but original recipe in your collection. Personally, I am able to eat a whole blanched, still crunchy cauliflower head in one day, so obviously, when I saw this side-dish on Shu Han’s blog (Mummy, I can cook!), I didn’t even need to bookmark it because the golden head was engraved in my memory forever. I decided to give my cauliflower a spicy kick and instead of pure oil, I brushed it with my Japanese garlic & chilli oil. It didn’t leave any visual trace but gave a subtle, barely spicy taste. I have baked the cauliflower only to the al dente stage and loved the crunchy, aromatic results. Thank you so much, Shu Han, for this simple, but very unusual recipe.

TIP: As a big fan, I might have eaten this cauliflower without any additional seasoning, but following Shu Han’s advice, I have served it with her sweet chilli sauce and it was a perfect combination, so visit Mummy, I can cook! to check the detailed instructions. Once you see Shuhan’s tempting recipes and her creative, unique illustrations, you will become an addicted follower.

Preparation: about 1 hour


1 cauliflower

chilli oil (see here the Japanese Chilli & Garlic Oil Recipe)


Preheat the oven to 190°C (about 375°F).

Cut off the cauliflower leaves and the stem.

Place it in a baking dish.

Brush generously with chilli oil (I have used about 5 tablespoons) and sprinkle with salt.

Bake until golden (I baked one hour and it was perfect: al dente) or until soft, if you prefer soft cauliflower. (Check the softness with a toothpick or wooden skewer).

32 Replies to “Roast Cauliflower with Chilli Oil”

  1. When I think of the soggy white boiled cauliflower my mom served when I was a kid, I want to weep … if only she had known to do this to it, I would have been eating cauliflower on a regular basis. I don’t think I’ve had any in the last 5 yrs or more.

    1. I know exactly what you mean… My mum’s wasn’t very soggy but very soft anyway (too soft for me now that I have it only crunchy) and it stank so much! (I suppose the more it cooks the more it stinks).

    1. Thank you, Gintare. Your method sounds great too (though not as lazy 😉 ). I must try roasting it in pieces; it must make the flavours much stronger.

  2. What a great and simple way to prepare cauliflower…I cannot tolerate soggy and mushy cauliflower, so I know I will enjoy this al dente especially with a touch of spice…
    Hope you are enjoying your week Sissi 😀

  3. How easy is this and such gorgeous results! Great call on the spicy oil Sissi. I’m not a big cauliflower lover, but if I can learn to like Brussels sprout, then I’m sure I can learn to like cauliflower, especially with a recipe like this! And you are so right – what a beautiful thing to pull out of the oven. I bet you were jumping with joy! 🙂

    1. Thank you, MJ, for kind compliments. I am still in awe too (it’s the first time I roasted a cauliflower). Actually, I think it’s a good idea as a side dish to serve when having guests (so easy but so impressive!).

  4. I used to hate cauliflower as a child, along with a bunch of other vegetables like broccoli or Brussels’ sprouts etc. Now I love it just like the rest of the bunch! Indeed this is a very easy and carefree recipe! I am keeping it!

    1. The other day I had an airplane meal with horrible mushy broccoli and I thought: if I ever had these as a child I would hate them too.
      This is such a “cheated” recipe: impressive, delicious but ridiculously easy. I hope you will try it one day.

  5. Hi Sissi! I’m just at the boarding gate and catching a glimpse of your interpretation of Shu’s delightful recipe. So happy to have this reminder as I had the same reaction as you when I saw it on Shu’s site — it’s on my culinary wish list ;-). I love cauliflower so this is an easy sell for me and I find roasting intensifies flavour – so easy too, my kind of dish :O). Your version turned out really well – lovely colour and happy to hear you loved it! Have to make it sooner than later.

    1. Hi, Kelly! I have just come back from an airplane trip too and it’s such a pleasure to read comments and finally be able to answer calmly with a glass of wine… Thank you for the compliments. I am sure you will love this roast cauliflower too!

  6. WOOOO HOOOOO SISSI! So glad to see this on your blog and chuffed you were inspired 🙂 Your version looks stunning. And indeed, isn’t it such a fun vegetable dish to make?! AND…come on YOU HAVE TO let me know when you make something from my blog! I almost missed this!!!! xx

    1. Dear, Shuhan. I wanted it to be a surprise! but don’t worry, I’d let you know if I didn’t hear from you for a long time 😉 Thank you so much for kind compliments. I’m glad you like my chilli oil version (let’s be frank, it’s a complete copy of yours! just another oil used…). OK, next time I’ll let you know when I post your recipe (but I’ll not reveal the identity of the dish; I’ll just say I have made one of your creations). Thank you once more for this amazing recipe! It’ll be my staple through all the cold seasons.

  7. This cauliflower looks so delicious yet it looks too cute to be eaten!! The use of chili oil is right up my alley! Thanks for sharing. And yes I thought about making this after seeing it on Shu Han’s blog but I just didn’t think I could finish a whole cauliflower all by myself, or could I?

    1. Thank you so much, Yi. It’s a good question! I must say I finished half of the cauliflower on my own and the other half ended up in a soup.

  8. wow, pretty damn good veggies snack!
    i love making roasted cauliflower for my father since it can be a healty snacking with less calories…..
    i guess he would love it with chilli oil next time…

  9. Wow, when I saw the title, I was expecting it to be broken into florets and roasted. This looks like a beautiful switch-up… like a big, creamy golden craggy mountain. Though I’m sorry, but I do mean “beautiful” purely in the aesthetic sense since I am one of those “cauliflower haters”. Pickled or raw, I’ll eat it until it comes out of my ears, but if it’s been anywhere near an oven or stove then I’d have to be in seriously dire straits of hunger to want to eat it :D.

    It looks lovely though Sissi – my wife would absolutely love it at least 😀

    1. Thank you so much, Charles. Many people dislike cauliflower, so I’m not surprised. I always liked it but it was always very soft, so when I discovered the al dente version, I have fallen in love.

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