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This post is sponsored by Filippo Berio. As always, I only work with brands I love and use in my own kitchen, and all opinions are my own.
Cauliflower is having a real moment right now, isn't it? It is EVERYWHERE. Any why shouldn't it be? Meaty, rich, and versatile, this low carb veggie has won the heart of the culinary world, showing up in everything from pizza to pasta sauce and more. Today I've got a wonderful oven roasted cauliflower dish that is hearty enough to be a vegetarian main, but fancy enough to be a dinner party or holiday side dish too.
The best part: all you'll need is a cutting board, sheet pan, and serving dish to make it! Everything cooks right in the pan; even the nuts toast as the cauliflower finishes roasting!
This type of almost-one-pan dish is my favorite - so little cleanup, but such a great reward. Using a pre-made pesto like Filippo Berio's Sun Dried Dried Tomato Pesto as a base for the sauce makes this dish even easier, and gives a great punch of flavor.
Roasted cauliflower has such a wonderful, almost creamy flavor, but it can also be rather plain if it's not a little dolled up.
Quality olive oil ( my obsession with the bold flavor of Filippo Berio's Robusto continues ), plus salt and pepper, can do a ton to add a little umph to cauliflower roasted in the oven, but to take it to the next level, a sauce or spice rub really does the trick.
Pesto is a flavor powerhouse, and I always have a few types on hand to use on a little bread with charcuterie, top a grilled pork chop, or toss in some pasta for a quick but delicious dinner.
It's a natural choice for something like cauliflower that could use that extra punch! For this particular oven roasted cauliflower, I added a little cream to make this meal feel fancy, but if you are watching calories, you could definitely use a little veggie broth instead to thin it out and make a pourable sauce.
The caramelized cauliflower florets atop the creamy pesto are pushed over the edge with the decadently rich flavor and texture of toasted pine nuts to finish this dish off.
Truly, this dish is main-course worthy!
Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce
- 1 head raw cauliflower
- 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil I use Filippo Berio Robusto Olive Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1 jar 6 oz Filippo Berio Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- 3 ounces heavy cream
- parsley optional garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Slice the tip of the cauliflower stem off to remove any dead / less than fresh edges, and pull or slice off any remaining leaves. Discard all of what you've cut off.
- Slice the head of the cauliflower into large wedges, about 1 1/2" thick at the top of the florets, tapering down to a point at the stem. You'll lose a few florets while you do this, and that's totally okay!
- Drizzle half ofthe olive oil onto a pan with edges ( like a 1/4 Sheet Pan or a large jelly roll pan ).
- Place the wedges along with any loose florets from the cutting process onto the pan. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the wedges / loose pieces of cauliflower. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and grated cheese on top.
- Roast the cauliflower for 20 minutes at 425 F. Remove the pan from the oven, add the pine nuts to the pan, and give them a quick stir so they are coated in any residual oil, salt, pepper, and cheese on the pan.
- Return the pan with the cauliflower and the pine nuts back to the oven. Bake for another 6 to 7 minutes, or until the pine nuts are toasted. Remove the pan as soon as you see the pine nuts start to brown! They can go from brown to burnt VERY quickly and require a close eye at this stage!
- In a small bowl, mix the Filippo Berio Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with the heavy cream. Pour half of the creamy pesto onto the serving dish. When the cauliflower and nuts come out of the oven, place the cauliflower on top of the creamy pesto, and then sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top of the cauliflower. Garnish with parsley, if so desired. I like the pop of color it brings.
- Serve with a small dish of the other half of the creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pesto on the side, or drizzle it on top right before serving. This dish is wonderful warm, but can also be made ahead and served chilled.