Roasted Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower
Recipe VIDEO above. 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?
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4 - 5 as a side
- 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.
Serving: 135g | Calories: 153kcal