Make Ahead

Roasted Cauliflower with Gremolata Bread Crumbs

October  3, 2010
7 Ratings
  • Serves 6
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. - TheThinChef —TheThinChef

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Madeline Spiker
    Madeline Spiker
  • laura
  • Ms. T
    Ms. T
  • Nick
  • Jasmin Richie
    Jasmin Richie

69 Reviews

Gardener January 6, 2022
This is spectacular in its simplicity and flavor. Five stars.
Madeline S. January 14, 2020
It was really good, simple, side. Easy to do.
laura February 10, 2019
This is a keeper! Great flavor and texture, and the whole family ate it up though I could never get them to try cauliflower. Next time I might roast for a bit longer to get even more caramelized, but this is truly delicious as is!
Merry January 31, 2019
Tried this tonight and made one addition that turned it into a perfect meal - a substantial smear of hummus on the plate before adding the cauliflower and bread crumbs. Delicious!
Aimee February 2, 2018
Yum! I always add turmeric, paprika, and cumin to the roasted caulis. Psyched to try the topping for an extra kick!
Ms. T. January 8, 2018
Yum! Finally tried this last night and it took our standard roast cauliflower (a staple in our house) from good to scrumptious. I now want to put these gremolata bread crumbs on EVERYTHING I eat :)
Nick October 19, 2017
Solid recipe. I always add crushed red pepper and red wine vinegar when pulling the cauliflower out of the oven.
Jasmin R. May 19, 2016
Just made this. It was a PERFECT pairing with the chicken risotto I made. Like everyone said, so simple and good. I like that it's not covered in butter, cheese, cream or any other heavy stuff, but you can do that too if you want.
Meagan C. January 23, 2015
Really wonderful recipe! I was out of panko so I subbed crushed homemade ciabbatta croutons I had from the night before. Delicious!
denise&food January 5, 2015
Very good. Great way to make it a little more special.
Clover88 January 5, 2015
I often make roasted cauliflower but the addition of the gremolata bread crumbs made it taste more piquant. Thx!
Cialina N. September 22, 2014
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!
diZeng June 25, 2014
Just tried this tonight, was great! definitely will make again. Thank you!
Muse October 9, 2013
Absolutely delicious! Will definitely add this to my Thanksgiving repertoire! Peace, Light and Love.
luvcookbooks October 7, 2013
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!
Sabine G. August 2, 2013
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!
LiliCoopr April 5, 2013
Just finished eating this, so easy and so good! I used normal breadrumbs and more parsley, yum yum.
_lotus February 21, 2013
I don't go in big for cauliflower, but this was good! Paired it with the cardamom chicken tonight.
Nomnomnom January 15, 2013
Just made this again last night. This one is a winner in our home!
darksideofthespoon January 15, 2013
I make something like this all the time, only instead of lemon zest, I use preserved lemon rind. Amazing.
darksideofthespoon January 15, 2013
Oh, and an egg yolk broiled softly on top of the breadcrumbs!