Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Bread Crumbs

By • October 3, 2010 • 61 Comments

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Author Notes: Roasting the cauliflower brings out its natural sweetness, and the bits that turn dark brown are irresistible. Topped with crispy panko swirled with fresh parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, this cauliflower is a lovely side dish—even for people who think they don't like the knobby white veggie. - TheThinChefTheThinChef

Food52 Review: Before TheThinChef came along, roasted cauliflower and gremolata happily co-existed, never feeling any need to mingle. But now that we've tasted them together, they're going to be seeing a lot more of each other in our kitchens. The lemon and garlic scented panko add snap and complexity to the sweet, caramelized cauliflower -- and together you have a side dish that you could easily double or triple for a large party, and even make ahead. In fact, we like this best at room temperature, which has an added benefit: if you wait until the cauliflower is cool to sprinkle the bread crumbs on top, they'll stay good and crisp! - A&MThe Editors

Serves 6

  • 2 large heads cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Trim tough stem and core from cauliflower and discard. Using a paring knife, cut cauliflower into smaller spears. Place in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; toss to combine.
  3. Spread cauliflower out on 2 large, rimmed baking sheets. Roast until edges start to brown, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  4. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add panko and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to coat in oil. Cook, stirring constantly, until bread crumbs are golden. Add lemon zest and garlic and toss until mixture is very fragrant and bread crumbs are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Place in a medium bowl and add parsley, stirring to combine. Set aside.
  5. Remove cauliflower from oven and place on serving platter. Top with bread crumbs and serve immediately.

Tags: cauliflower, Easy, roast, roasted vegetables, savory

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Comments (61) Questions (2)


3 months ago Meagan Cole

Really wonderful recipe! I was out of panko so I subbed crushed homemade ciabbatta croutons I had from the night before. Delicious!


4 months ago denise&food

Very good. Great way to make it a little more special.


4 months ago Clover88

I often make roasted cauliflower but the addition of the gremolata bread crumbs made it taste more piquant. Thx!


7 months ago Cialina N

SO delicious.
I ended up roasting closer to 25 minutes just to get my cauliflower pieces browner. I didn't have panko bread crumbs and substituted with regular bread crumbs. Still came out fine, but I'm definitely going to get panko next time for the extra crisp!


10 months ago diZeng

Just tried this tonight, was great! definitely will make again. Thank you!


over 1 year ago Muse

Absolutely delicious! Will definitely add this to my Thanksgiving repertoire! Peace, Light and Love.


over 1 year ago luvcookbooks

Meg is a trusted home cook.

Made this with purple cauliflower. It stayed purple through roasting and looked lovely on the table. Also killer delicious. I made the gremolata with mint from the garden (no parsley) and it was good. Thanks!


over 1 year ago Sabine Gagnon

Just made these tonight! Fantastic! I usually just roast my cauliflower but the bread crumbs with lemon and garlic bring it to a whole new level! Thank you!


about 2 years ago LiliCoopr

Just finished eating this, so easy and so good! I used normal breadrumbs and more parsley, yum yum.


about 2 years ago _lotus

I don't go in big for cauliflower, but this was good! Paired it with the cardamom chicken tonight.


over 2 years ago Nomnomnom

Just made this again last night. This one is a winner in our home!


over 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

I make something like this all the time, only instead of lemon zest, I use preserved lemon rind. Amazing.


over 2 years ago darksideofthespoon

Oh, and an egg yolk broiled softly on top of the breadcrumbs!


over 2 years ago mdm

delicious, thank you!


over 2 years ago student epicure

yum! my mom got the second food52 cookbook for christmas, so we made this as part of christmas dinner. a huge hit! the cauliflower needed more olive oil and i increased the garlic (we like a lot of garlic in our family!). such a nice change from plain roasted cauliflower!


over 2 years ago ECMotherwell

I also did a cauliflower/broccoli mix -- yum!!! I cannot wait to make and eat this again. :)


almost 3 years ago Cakes

I made this last night and it was a huge hit. I added broccoli. I usually just roast my cauliflower and broccoli with olive oil, maldon and lemon juice. The gremolata bread crumbs were a great addition and my kids loved it! Thanks!


almost 3 years ago SJR

I made this last evening. It was very good, but nothing spectacular - it's just a basic way to roast cauliflower....


almost 3 years ago betty888

I made this for a tapas party this weekend. It was super easy to make and very tasty. The only thing I wish I had done differently was to serve it in a wide, shallow bowl. I used a deeper bowl and there wasn't as much surface area for the breadcrumb topping-- so didn't use all of the gremolata. It would have been better with a bit more on the top. That said, delicious.


over 3 years ago flossy

perfect! made it for a party and was so easy to make earlier in the day and then wait to combine the cauliflower and bread crumbs. lots of raves, too.


about 4 years ago Hummusit

Sorry, that was supposed to be - "you really CAN'T skimp on the oil"....


about 4 years ago Hummusit

hmmm... one one hand, my daughter actually ate cauliflower!!! on the other hand you really can skimp on the oil, making this a calorie-rich(er) recipe.


about 4 years ago Vstarr71

Soooo good and sooooo easy! How can something so simple be so satisfying?


over 4 years ago seasonista

I made this for Thanksgiving dinner. Delicious! Stood up to that heavy, decadent meal, and stood out for being lighter than the average side. Thank you!


over 4 years ago KOKelley

This was the first recipe I tried off Food52 (I just found it!!) and it was delicious. The panko+zest+garlic mixture was so deliciously fragrant when cooking I almost fell over. Thanks for sharing!


over 4 years ago Jill Center

I made this last month, and it's been on my mind at various times. Today was rainy and cold in San Francisco. A quick stop at the grocery for fresh cauliflower again yielded a scrumptious dinner. This time it was warm, comforting and lovely for a finally-arrived Autumn. Thanks!


over 4 years ago VanessaS

I made this tonight and it was amazing - definetely going to make for Thanksgiving!


over 4 years ago HandRocksLadle

I loved this recipe! I roast vegetables all the time, but never cauliflower. This is definitely going in the regular rotation.


over 4 years ago sue_ann_canvasser

I love the panko combination and would like to use it over or on grilled chicken or shrimp.


over 4 years ago megbennington

I made this last weekend and it was phenomenal! Thank you for sharing!!


over 4 years ago Jeanette's Healthy Living

This sounds like a nice twist on roasted cauliflower. I like the crunch and lemon.


over 4 years ago Claudia1

I made this tonight and it was a HUGE hit! absolutely delicious!!!


over 4 years ago ellenl

I've been reading your recipe since you first posted it. I will be making it soon. Congratulations!


over 4 years ago Bevi

Congrats! I can't wait to make this!


over 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Congratulations - great recipe!


over 4 years ago ashleychasesdinner

Congratulations!! I am so happy for you. Great job!!


over 4 years ago lapadia

Congratulations on your winning recipe! I am looking forward to making it soon.


over 4 years ago TiggyBee

Congrats on your lovely and winning recipe!! Can't wait to try it!!


over 4 years ago TheThinChef

Thanks everyone for the super nice feedback. It's so appreciated!


over 4 years ago gingerroot

Congrats!! I can't wait to try this.


over 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.



over 4 years ago lapadia

Thanks for sharing your recipe!


over 4 years ago Rebecca

I made it tonight and we loved it!!!


over 4 years ago nannydeb

I made this for dinner last night and we really enjoyed it. My husband asked for the leftovers to eat with his dinner tonight!


over 4 years ago TheThinChef

Desirable leftovers is a very high compliment :) Thanks, nannydeb!


over 4 years ago Carol0813

This is a delicious dish. I've been roasting cauliflower for several years but your panko/lemon zest gremolata is a fabulous addition. I also appreciate the limited amount of olive oil you use both to roast the cauliflower and in toasting the panko. I much prefer it to the amount of oil I used to use when roasting this or any vegetable. The flavor of the vegetable really comes through so nicely this way. I loved this so much I voted for your recipe. Hope you win!


over 4 years ago TasteFood

Congratulations on your recipe. I am making it for a dinner party tonight!


over 4 years ago PaulaK

This recipe looks delicious! I can't wait to try it. In fact, I think I'll head to the supermarket right now and make this for lunch. Congratulations, TheThinChef, on becoming a finalist. I am voting for your recipe.


over 4 years ago TheThinChef

Thanks, PaulaK! Hope you enjoy!


over 4 years ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love this recipe. Funny... I make cauliflower in a similar way all the time, but I couldn't think of a single thing to enter in the Cauliflower contest.


over 4 years ago TheThinChef

It's as simple as could be, but delicious, huh? :)


over 4 years ago ashleychasesdinner

Congratulations on being a finalist! Great job


over 4 years ago TheThinChef

Thanks, everyone, for such kind words.


over 4 years ago Oui, Chef

There are so few ways that I really like cauliflower, but I can already tell that that this recipe will qualify for inclusion on that short, but distinguished list. Congrats! - S


over 4 years ago Cupcake921

This looks fabulous, and I love that it is healthy and yummy! Congrats!


over 4 years ago gingerroot

Looks delicious! Congratulations on being a finalist!


over 4 years ago cheese1227

Such a simple solution! Thanks.


over 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Congrats!! I wish I was eating this right now.


over 4 years ago TheThinChef

Oh my goodness, I am so excited!


over 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

What a great recipe--congratulations on being a finalist!


over 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

Yay! What a great dish - congrats on being named a finalist!