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.

More Great Recipes: Cauliflower|Vegetables|Side Dishes|Bread|Olive Oil

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Comments (61) Questions (2)


7 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!


8 months ago denise&food

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


8 months ago Clover88

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


11 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!


about 1 year ago diZeng

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


almost 2 years ago Muse

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


almost 2 years 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!


about 2 years 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!


over 2 years ago LiliCoopr

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


over 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!


almost 3 years ago ECMotherwell

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


about 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!


about 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....


over 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.


about 4 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.


over 4 years ago Hummusit

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