Janurary in the Kitchen – Roast Cauliflower with Cumin and Sumac

Roast Cauliflower with Cumin and Sumac

Cauliflower is everywhere these days! It has been one of my favorite vegetables for years and I am pleased to see it finally getting the recognition it deserves. It can be used as a replacement for grains or pasta or pizza crust or potatoes. In many recipes it’s used to reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates; with the added benefit you are increasing the amount of vegetables in your diet. But cauliflower is delicious as a vegetable in it’s own right. Cauliflower cheese AKA cauliflower with cheese sauce is a classic. My favorite is a simple roast cauliflower. Cook it in a hot oven an it comes out with a crisp brown exterior and a soft interior.

Sumac is my new flavor passion. When I came across a recipe for roast cauliflower with cumin and sumac, I had to try it. The combination seems spot on. This recipe came from the blog Everybody Likes Sandwiches.

My usual method for roasting cauliflower is simle. Break an entire head of cauliflower apart into florets, coat them with olive oil and coarse salt, and bake it in a hot oven (400 degrees F) for about 40 minutes. That works well and highlights the vegetable. But, I was searching for a crunchier exterior and decided to try a method I’ve seen in several cookbooks. They call for steaming the cauliflower for 5 minutes so it is partially cooked, then roasting it at a much higher temperature (475 degrees F). I decided to try both and see which my faimily preferred.

Both start out the same.

Cauliflower coated with Sumac, lemon and cumin

Cauliflower coated with Sumac, lemon and cumin

Roast Cauliflower with Cumin and Sumac

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground sumac
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 large pinch of kosher salt
  • Ground fresh pepper

Method 1

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F
  2. In a large bowl combine the olive oil, lemon, cumin, sumac, garlic powder and salt. Whisk to mix well.
  3. Add the cauliflower and stir to coat with the spices and oil.
  4. Remove the cauliflower to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, turning half way through to brown the other side.
  6. Serve, adding freshly ground pepper

Method 2

  1. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F
  2. Steam the cauliflower over boiling water for 5 minutes, drain and cool.
  3. In a large bowl combine the olive oil, lemon, cumin, sumac, garlic powder and salt. Whisk to mix well.
  4. Add the cauliflower and stir to coat with the spices and oil.
  5. Remove the cauliflower to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, turning half way through to brown the other side.
  7. Serve, adding freshly ground pepper
Cauliflower roasted two ways, method 1 (left) and method 2 (right)

Cauliflower roasted two ways, method 1 (left) and method 2 (right)

I found that the second method (2) produced a crisper exterior with a creamy interior. But, both were good. My family preferred the second but I think it would depend if you had other food in the oven. Cooking at 400 degrees lets you bake some chicken or other vegetables at the same time.

In both cases the mix of spices was delicious and very complementary to the cauliflower.

9 thoughts on “Janurary in the Kitchen – Roast Cauliflower with Cumin and Sumac

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