Serves a Crowd

Mustard-Roasted Cauliflower

April 17, 2021
8 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Becky
  • K.V.
  • Nancy Jochem
    Nancy Jochem
  • Cheryl
  • Neophyte

16 Reviews

Kathryn C. October 10, 2022
This was just delicious. I doubled the olives because I'm crazy about them and used roasted salted pistachios. Such wonderful flavors together!
Becky April 17, 2021
This recipe has it all! A little crunch from the nuts, a fatty kick from the olives, and oh, that vibrant dressing! This is the sort of dish that makes me think I could be a happy vegan 😊
K.V. October 26, 2020
One word: delicious!
Nancy J. November 7, 2019
Simple and delicious. I thought it would be too vinegary but it was perfect blend of flavors
ChowChow August 15, 2019
Wife likes it. My personal taste wants half vinegar.
marymag December 6, 2023
I agree. Used red wine vinegar as I didn't have white balsamic and it dominated the flavors.
Cheryl December 3, 2016
Definitely double this recipe. It's delicious!
Neophyte August 24, 2014
Followed the recipe to a T for a dinner I prepared for my octogenarian parents who've become picky eaters. They loved it! I can see potential substitutions, but the original recipe is marvelously flavorful, and easy to prepare. Brava Maja!
Maja L. August 25, 2014
Glad you enjoyed it. One of the things I love about this recipe is that it's flexible. Substitutions totally welcome :)
margiebak April 19, 2014
This is the second time i've made this and and I omitted the olives & pistachios - added pine nuts and raisins - might finish it off with shaved parm
Lee April 16, 2014
This recipe is absolutely AMAZING! Because I had no green olives, I used pitted Kalamatas, which perhaps overwhelmed the flavor a little, but this recipe has become my new fave for cauliflower. I think I'm using pine nuts one of these times just to see how it affects the overall flavor. Yummy!!!
Maja L. April 17, 2014
Thanks! Pine nuts are such a good idea :) I should try that as well.
LPW2000 April 1, 2014
Who comes up with these ideas? Sounds wonderful.
Cindy R. March 31, 2014
Had this for dinner last night and it was wonderful! Subbed pine nuts for pistachios since that's all I had on hand and added a drip of agave for a little sweetness. Family ate every last bite!
Maja L. April 17, 2014
Glad you liked it! I see that the pine nuts are a trend. Will definitely try to use them the next time I prepare it.
Alexandra G. March 28, 2014
This sounds so good, I can't wait to try it!