This Roasted Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower is quick, easy and off-the-charts delicious! Try it for dinner tonight – as a side, or as the main. And what about serving it as a healthy, low carb snack at a gathering?
This Roasted Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower is the low carb, healthier version of these Parmesan Crusted Potatoes I shared a few weeks ago. Because I felt so bad for everyone who left wailing messages along the lines of “I’m trying to be healthy! What are you doing to me!!!😭”.
Then there was one sensible lady who calmly asked “This looks terrific. Do you have any suggestions for other vegetables this could be made with?” And here is my sensible response – Parmesan Crusted CAULIFLOWER!!!
I must confess, I thought it would be as easy as swapping the potatoes for the cauliflower. But actually, it didn’t work that well, it came out quite soggy. Which, logically, makes sense because cauliflower has more water in it than potatoes.
So it took a few goes to get it right. I added a little panko breadcrumbs to add crunch, reduced the oil a touch (too much oil actually makes the crust soggy with cauliflower, unlike with potatoes), I bake it for a few minutes after turning the cauliflower to reveal the gorgeous crust to add a bit of extra crunch.
And the small yet big change I made was to eliminate salt altogether. Potatoes can take alot of salt.
So the parmesan alone is enough salt for cauliflower. Though if you have a very salty palette, you may wish to sprinkle some on at the end. But try it first without adding extra salt, see what you think.
I know the obvious way to serve this Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower is as a side. But I think it also makes a very satisfying vegetarian meal. Cauliflower is quite meaty, don’t you think? You can even make cauliflower steaks using this recipe. Imagine that!
This was actually my lunch on the day I photographed this. I made some couscous, stirred through butter, salt, pepper and sliced spinach. Added tomatoes on the side, piled on the cauliflower.
Not a bad lunch! ~ Nagi x
PS The crust is on one side only. So one side has nice browning from the roasting, and the other side is crusted with the parmesan. 🙂
The healthier version of the popular Parmesan Crusted Potatoes! Try it for dinner tonight - as a side, or as the main meal. Or how about passing it around at a gathering? Recipe VIDEO below.
- 1 large head of cauliflower , firm not old and floppy
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- Black pepper
- Oil spray (I use olive oil) (Note 1)
- Finely chopped parsley , for garnish, if desired
- 1/2 cup / 50g grated parmesan , the sand-like type (Note 2)
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (Note 3)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano or thyme
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 200C/390F (standard) or 180C/350F (fan/convection).
Mix Crust ingredients in a small bowl.
Break cauliflower into large florets. Cut very large florets into 1.5cm / 3/5" thick slices, and the medium florets in half. You want a large flat surface area on each piece for the crust to adhere to.
Line a baking tray (30 x 40 cm / 12 x 16") with paper.
Drizzle tray with oil. Use a cauliflower to spread the oil all over the paper (see video).
Sprinkle Crust mixture all over the tray, as evenly as possible. Don't touch it once scattered.
Place cauliflower down on the Crust mixture, pressing down lightly. Don't jam them right up against each other (they will steam and go soggy), keep a tiny bit of space between each one.
Spray generously with oil. Sprinkle with a bit of black pepper (optional).
Bake for 20 minutes until crust is deep golden.
Use tongs to turn the cauliflower so the crust side is up. Bake for a further 5 minutes.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with finely chopped parsley or other herb, if desired.
1. I prefer using oil spray rather than drizzling with oil because too much oil causes the crust to be a bit soggy. If you don't have oil spray, I would recommend tossing the cauliflower with 1 tbsp oil and reducing the oil drizzled on the tray to 1 1/2 tbsp.
2. Please use the grated parmesan that has a sand-like consistency sold in the refrigerated section. I take no responsibility if you try this with the grated parmesan sold in the aisles!! However, a number of readers said they used the grated parmesan from the aisles for the Parmesan Crusted Potatoes (on which this recipe is based) and said it was delicious 🙂
For freshly grated, use 50g/1.75 oz parmesan and a fine grater (microplane). Don't measure by cups because the volume of fresh grated parmesan is far greater than store bought for the same weight.
3. Panko Breadcrumbs are slightly bigger and fluffier than normal breadcrumbs, so they create a better crunch. It can be substituted with normal breadcrumbs but reduce to 2.5 tbsp.
4. CRISPINESS: This cauliflower version is not quite as crispy as the potato version, simply because cauliflower has a higher water content. To make it 100% crispy, you'd need to dredge in flour then egg then a crust with more panko in it. Which then makes this a completely different recipe - more labour intensive! 🙂
But there's definite crispiness, you'll come across patches of it in each piece, and some pieces are more crispy than others.
5. REHEATING: I find this doesn't reheat as well as the potatoes, simply because the water content in cauliflower is higher. What I've been doing with leftovers to reheat them is to preheat a tray in an oven at 220C/430F then drizzle with oil and spread using hand/paper/brush then put the cauliflower crust side down on the tray. Bake 5 - 10 minutes - don't cook too long, the soggier the cauliflower gets, the less crispy the crust is.
6. Nutrition per serving, assuming 5 servings.
Roasted Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower recipe video!
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LIFE OF DOZER
Size perspective – this is at the foot of my queen size bed…. He’s 40kg / 80 lb!!!!!