Beth's Roasted Parmesan Crusted Cauliflower
Beth is the COO of StickerGiant
At Beth’s house, they are heading into 2020 with the goal of bringing in more plant-based foods into their diets. So, this recipe is connected to that goal, and also to making plant-based foods at home that taste good, and are fun to eat. This is a yummy snack, or a great side dish as part of a meal.
Beth’s family enjoys playing all kinds of games together, and at the top of the list is the Cornhole Toss. Cornhole is such an easy and fun game to play - either as a casual game to pass the time, or as a competitive game for bragging rights, or to win a small wager. Cornhole anyone?!?!
Beth originally found this recipe on Recipe Tin Eats.
1 large head of cauliflower, firm not old and floppy
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
Oil spray (Beth uses olive oil. See note 1)
Finely chopped parsley, for garnish, if desired
½ cup / 50 grams grated parmesan, finely grated (See note 2)
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs (Se note 3)
½ teaspoon dried oregano or thyme
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 200º C / 390º F for a standard oven, or 180º C / 350º F for a fan / convection oven.
Mix crust ingredients in a small bowl.
Break cauliflower into large florets. Cut very large florets into 1.5cm / ⅗" thick slices, and the medium florets in half. You want a large flat surface area on each piece for the crust to adhere to.
Line a baking tray (30 x 40 cm / 12 x 16") with paper.
Drizzle tray with oil. Use a cauliflower to spread the oil all over the paper.
Sprinkle Crust mixture all over the tray, as evenly as possible. Don't touch it once scattered.
Place cauliflower down on the crust mixture, pressing down lightly. Don't jam them right up against each other (they will steam and go soggy), keep a tiny bit of space between each one.
Spray generously with oil. Sprinkle with a bit of black pepper (optional).
Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is a deep golden color.
Use tongs to turn the cauliflower so the crust side is up. Bake for another 5 minutes.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with finely chopped parsley or herb of your choice, if desired.
- Beth prefers using oil spray rather than drizzling with oil, because too much oil causes the crust to be a bit soggy. If you don't have oil spray, she recommends tossing the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon oil and reducing the oil drizzled on the tray to 1 ½ tablespoon.
- Please use the grated parmesan that has a sand-like consistency sold in the refrigerated section. She takes no responsibility if you try this with the grated parmesan sold in the aisles!! However, a number of readers said they used the grated parmesan from the aisles for the Parmesan Crusted Potatoes (on which this recipe is based) and said it was delicious.
- For freshly grated parmesan, use 50 grams / 1.75 ounces parmesan and a fine grater (microplane). Don't measure by cups because the volume of fresh grated parmesan is far greater than store bought for the same weight.
- Panko breadcrumbs are slightly bigger and fluffier than normal breadcrumbs, so they create a better crunch. It can be substituted with normal breadcrumbs but reduce your measurement to 2 ½ tablespoons.
- CRISPINESS: This cauliflower version is not quite as crispy as the potato version, simply because cauliflower has a higher water content. To make it 100% crispy, you'd need to dredge in flour then egg then a crust with more panko in it. Which then makes this a completely different recipe - more labor intensive! But there is definitely crispiness, and you will come across patches of it in each piece, and find some pieces are crispier than others.
- REHEATING: This recipe does not reheat as well as the potatoes version it is based on, simply because the water content in cauliflower is higher. It helps to preheat a tray in an oven at 220º C / 430º F and then drizzle with oil and spread using your hand / paper / brush, then put the cauliflower crust side down on the tray. Bake 5 - 10 minutes - be sure to not cook too long, the soggier the cauliflower gets, the less crispy the crust will be.
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