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Author Notes: An unquestionable crowd-pleaser that's unabashedly simple, this cauliflower recipe boasts only 6 ingredients, 13 minutes total cook time, and one magical secret ingredient—homemade garlic confit—that will change the way you prepare garlic forever.
The end result is a beautifully charred, slightly crunchy, and impossibly moist batch of oven-roasted cauliflower, finished off with a pantry-item dressing that complements the natural sweetness of the fair-haired cruciferous beautifully. —KvellintheKitchen
Serves 4 sides
For the cauliflower
head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into large florets
cup extra virgin olive oil (use as little as 3 Tbsp if you prefer less oil)
Freshly ground black pepper
cloves Garlic Confit (see recipe below), chopped finely
tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
tablespoons red wine vinegar (white wine vinegar works too)
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large cast-iron* frying pan over high heat. Dump the cauliflower into the hot pan and cook until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the cauliflower, undisturbed until well seared, about 5 minutes longer. With a spatula, turn the cauliflower and cook on the other side until well seared, about 3 minutes longer. *If you don’t have a cast-iron frying pan, use a non-stick skillet instead. When cauliflower is ready to go into the oven, transfer to an oven-safe baking sheet lined with tin foil and a light mist of olive oil so it doesn’t stick.
- Remove from the oven, add the garlic confit, parsley, red pepper flakes, and vinegar and and stir to distribute the seasonings and toast the garlic slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Garlic Confit (makes 4 cups)
cups extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled (1 head = 10 cloves)
sprigs fresh thyme
bay leaves, bruised
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium baking dish, combine the olive oil, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. The garlic should be completely covered by about 1 inch of oil.
- Bake until the garlic cloves are soft, fragrant, and lightly browned but still hold their shape, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven, let cool to room temperature.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, completely covered with olive oil to prevent air from reaching them.