Serves a Crowd

Mustard-Roasted Cauliflower

November  7, 2013
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Keep this elegant dish in mind for your holiday table -- or any table, really. Because it's pretty awesome. It's indescribably delicious, with a double dose of mustard, plus warm and pungent vinaigrette, sweet and lightly pickled shallots, crunchy roasted cauliflower, briny olives, and chewy pistachios. My advice: You can never add too many pistachios to a dish. In fact, disregard the stated quantity and add as many as you like. That's not to even speak of the tiny cauliflower florets that naturally break off and become perfectly crisp in the oven. Those little bits are the best part -- they soak up the vinaigrette and become sour and salty. —Maja Lukic - Veggies & Gin

Test Kitchen Notes

Sweet shallots and creamy pistachios are the perfect foils to mustard's acidity here, while olives complement the pistachios' richness and add a welcome bit of brine. Cauliflower, slightly caramelized, forms a hearty canvas for this surprising play between flavors. This was an easily assembled dish that I will certainly be making again, only next time, I'll double the recipe -- I bet you'll want to, too. —faitchis

  • Serves 4
  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios, raw and unsalted
  • 1/3 cup green olives
  • Sea salt and black pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette. Whisk together the shallots, Dijon mustard, grainy mustard, and white balsamic vinegar. Let the vinaigrette sit for at least 15 minutes, preferably while the cauliflower is roasting.
  3. Optional move: Dry roast the pistachios for 5 to 7 minutes or so in the oven or in a skillet over medium-low heat. (I prefer to eat them raw).
  4. Cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets and peel and slice the stem into 1-inch pieces. Spread the cauliflower out evenly on a large baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the cauliflower for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring and rotating the pan halfway.
  5. Whisk the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into the vinaigrette and toss with the cauliflower as soon as it comes out of the oven. (It's important to dress the cauliflower while it is still warm.) Add the pistachios and green olives and season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve immediately.
  6. Note: I used two heads of cauliflower for the photos and doubled the vinaigrette -- always an option if you're serving a crowd. If you do not have white balsamic vinegar, substitute red wine or champagne vinegar. For a sweeter dish, omit the grainy mustard and the green olives.

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