Subscribe to blog via RSS

Search Blog

Side Dish: Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Honey

Categories: Cooking, Food, side dishes


I have had a number of requests lately for side dishes.

Why is it that they always seem the most difficult to come up with? Maybe because we will happily eat the same baked chicken, grilled steak, pan seared pork chops over and over again and yet we long for some variety with our side dishes. Something that moves us beyond rice and steamed veggies. Something that livens up the meal.

I am on an eternal quest for new side dishes. This is a recent recipe I have experimented with subjected my family to added to the rotation.


Why yes, it does kind of look like a white brain.

You will need:


1 head cauliflower
2 tbs. honey
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sea salt
black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup of water

Preheat oven to 400°

Pull the leaf things off of the cauliflower and place it brain side down in your baking dish.


Mix all the ingredients, except the water, together. Stir it well


Pour it over the cauliflower.


Pour your 1/4 cup water into the bottom of the baking dish. This helps prevent the cauliflower from burn and sticking to the baking dish.

Bake 10 minutes with the stem up. Then flip it over and bake 10 more minutes with the brain side up. You want it to be a light golden brown.


I cut it up into bite sized pieces. Little trees! And then I stirred them around in the rest of the marinade that was left in the baking dish.


The verdict:
I am not a HUGE cauliflower fan, but I like this recipe. Possibly because the actual cauliflower taste is masked.
My husband said it was great. Mmmm mmmm mmmm, did you really make this? I love it. Mmmmm mmmm mmmm. Can I eat the rest myself?

Half the children liked it.
Half didn’t like it. “Why can’t you just make regular broccoli?”
One gagged and refused to taste it.

I think the half that say they didn’t like it will be won over after a few more servings.  Their dislike seemed to be based on the fact that it was exactly like broccoli.

Subscribe to blog via RSS
Share this on:

18 comments so far...

  • When the idea of dinner plans leaves my brain frozen and refusing to function, I pull up these recipes before even considering a cookbook. It never really occured to me why that might be, but as I read “Pull the leaf things off” and “brain side down” I realized that you speak my language. Thank you for making cooking so approachable!

    Jennifer  |  April 30th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

  • our standard side dish is greens sauteed with garlic. depends on whether your family is a garlic fan, but we love it. just chop up your cabbage / broccoli / spring greens / chard, fry some crushed/sliced garlic in olive oil, add your greens until they wilt, add generous amount of lemon juice, and some chopped sundried tomatoes if they’re liked (and a sprinkle of chili flakes if you’re so inclined). transforms any greens into something scrummy.

    Jen  |  April 30th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

  • I told my 4 year old cauliflower was the “little trees” with snow on them. He still calles them snowy broccoli or snowy trees. I love messing with kids minds! On a more related note, I was just thinking how bored I was with frozen veggies–I forget to think of making a side! Duh. Guess I figure “Eh, why more work?”, but that looks and sounds good. Next trip to the store, we’re getting a cauliflower!

    Tina  |  April 30th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

  • Any reason you don’t chop it up into florets first?

    Amy  |  April 30th, 2008 at 6:37 pm

  • I was won over to cauliflower when I learned how to bake it the Italian way with plenty of butter and parmesan.

    Your recipe reminds me of one I saw at 101 Cookbooks, Roasted Cauliflower Popcorn.

    It’s a tossup as to which I want to try first.

    P.S. I’m hungry now.

    Karen Murphy  |  April 30th, 2008 at 7:06 pm

  • It’s tough to print the directions out with all the pictures. For future recipes, would you consider grouping or repeating the ingredients and directions together after the pictures so that it’s easy to print?

    Chris says: Hmmm, what about if you copy and paste into a word document?

    SoftwareMom  |  April 30th, 2008 at 8:14 pm

  • One gagged and refused to taste it? I love your honesty!

    Diane  |  April 30th, 2008 at 9:16 pm

  • Can’t wait to try this recipe! Love that roasted caulflower and this twist sounds good.

    On a side note….what’s up with “notes from the trenches”? All day it’s come up as “site owner has exceeded bandwidth”. Thought I’d mention it on the off chance you didn’t know….

    Jean  |  May 1st, 2008 at 12:38 am

  • Every time I try to visit your Trenches site, it comes up with an “owner has exceeded her bandwidth” msg. :(
    I miss my fix!!

    Chris says: Yes I exceeded my monthly bandwidth. But once midnight hits, it should all be working again. Hopefully.

    Nikki  |  May 1st, 2008 at 12:56 am

  • Heh, I already do the copy/paste-to-a-word-document thing (as now I feel like the smug teacher’s pet).

    I usually don’t do sides out of sheer laziness, but occasionally feel up to branching out. Next time I do, I’ll have to try this one.

    Brigitte  |  May 1st, 2008 at 9:40 am

  • I’m with software mom - I do copy and paste it into a word document - but I do wish you would have a printer friendly version (whine, whine, whine - it’s all about me!)

    I will try this. My whole family loves roast cauliflower - I cut it up and just toss it w/olive oil, garlic and salt and bake - but I have a hard time getting the temp and timing right. But my 8, 6 and 3 yr old love it to the point where we fight over the last couple of bites of one head.

    thanks for sharing

    maria  |  May 1st, 2008 at 3:16 pm

  • Sounds yummy to me! I love cauliflower!

    And WHERE did you find your baking dish??? My grandmother used to have a whole set of bakeware like that with the vegetables on the side and she used them all the time. I’d love to have a few dishes like them!

    Kim  |  May 1st, 2008 at 3:26 pm

  • Chris - This looks DELISH. I am trying it this weekend.

    Keri  |  May 1st, 2008 at 5:00 pm

  • lol yum. my mum made something similar. spicy cauliflower makes a nice change to cheese-sauce cauliflower.

    Looks good! must try!

    Bronnie  |  May 1st, 2008 at 8:40 pm

  • This sounds like a really interesting and yummy dish, must try it some time.

    And Yes, I have to say missed you the last couple of days when you exceeded your bandwidth, at first I thought it was me that had eceeded the band width then I re read the message properly.

    Take Care
    Love Carolynn :-)

    Carolynn from Western Australia  |  May 1st, 2008 at 10:33 pm

  • I make one similiar to this and sprinkle Parmesean cheese on it. its so good and healthy.

    Kelly  |  May 5th, 2008 at 12:53 pm

  • This is great!

    Thank you :)


    Annemarie  |  May 5th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

  • I love cauliflower and this sounds like an interesting way of trying it. Love the brain description!

    Maggie  |  March 16th, 2009 at 3:33 am