This dukkah roasted cauliflower is an easy way to brighten up your veggies, especially served with a simple preserved lemon yogurt. Great as an appetizer or side.
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When it comes to vegetables, in many cases I find a simple solution is if in doubt, roast it. True, this doesn't necessarily work for everything, but it certainly applies to quite a lot.
One of our favorite sides is roasted broccoli, simply tossed in olive oil and sprinkled with a little salt. Cauliflower in theory can be treated the same, but I find it doesn't have quite as much natural flavor.
Sometimes I mainly add flavor with a sauce after, as I did with my cauliflower steaks with salsa verde. But the way you cook and what with can also add flavor during cooking.
Roasting it with a little help from dukkah, as I have here, gives it that extra kick of flavor with minimal effort.
Dukkah is a nut and spice mix that's easy to make yourself at home, but that you can also buy ready-made. It's great for adding a burst of flavor to salads, on toast and for roasting veggies like this.
Tips for roasting cauliflower
- Cut the cauliflower into florets to speed up cooking (you could also roast it whole, it will just take longer)
- Split larger florets into smaller pieces by cutting through the middle - this also gives a flat side which will sit better for roasting and give a side that will brown a little more easily.
- Ideally, you want pieces to be even in size to cook equally.
- You can use a baking sheet (tray) or roasting dish, but I typically find a baking sheet leads to the pieces browning better on the bottom.
- Use enough oil to gently coat the cauliflower but don't drown them in oil - a little goes a relatively long way.
I'll be honest, the dukkah flavor is not overly dominant in this. In fact to a point, you might not completely pick out that it's there. However it definitely elevates the overall flavor of this roasted veg to be that bit more special.
Here I served the cauliflower with a simple preserved lemon yogurt. I realize not everyone has preserved lemons hanging around the house, but they add a lovely salty-tart flavor to lots of things. They are popular in Middle Eastern cooking but can be used much more widely. Ottolenghi is a big fan, as recipes like this dish with a preserved lemon mayo show.
Here, you simply chop or mince them and mix with yogurt. It acts as a dip which adds an extra burst of flavor and smooth coolness that pairs so well.
This dukkah roasted cauliflower is so easy to prepare and is a delicious way to make an otherwise plainer vegetable that much more interesting. The flavors are delicate, but truly delicious - it was a big win here and I hope you'll give it a try soon.
Try these other roast vegetable side dish ideas:
- Maple roasted parsnips with tahini dressing and hazelnuts
- Lentil salad with roasted Brussels sprouts and grapes
- Hasselback sweet potatoes
- Plus get more side dish recipes in the archives.
Dukkah roasted cauliflower
- 12 oz cauliflower 340g (approx ½c medium head)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (approx)
- ½ tablespoon dukkah (plus a little more to serve)
To serve (optional but recommended)
- ½ tablespoon preserved lemon (around ⅛ lemon, skin only - remove the flesh before chopping)
- 2 tablespoon Greek yogurt (or other plain, thicker yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro coriander
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets. Split larger pieces in half or smaller so that your chunks are relatively even, roughly large bite-sized pieces.
- Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet/tray (or in a baking dish) and drizzle over the olive oil. Toss the cauliflower to coat it. Sprinkle over the dukkah, trying to ensure each piece is relatively evenly covered.
- Roast the cauliflower for approximately 20-25 minutes until the top is just starting to brown and the underside is starting to crisp up.
- As the cauliflower is cooking, finely chop or mince the preserved lemon and stir it through the yogurt. Mincing will make it smoother and easier to scoop on the cauliflower, but chunkier is also fine.
- Transfer the cooked cauliflower to a plate, sprinkle over the chopped cilantro and a little extra dukkah (around ½tsp) if you like. Serve warm with the lemon yogurt.
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