Healthy Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herbs & Parmesan

cauliflower-roasted-with-herbs-and-cheese-JackieAlpers-bYou may have heard that cauliflower has replaced Brussels sprouts as the Veggie of the Moment. We love our sprouts and don’t want to sell them short, but the cauliflower is coming on strong, and we must pay our respects. Enter Jackie Alpers. In addition to authoring the new cookbook, Sprinkles!: Recipes & Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts (NOT for the faint-of-hearted carb-avoider), Jackie runs the food blog Jackie’s Happy Plate, which features healthy recipes and gorgeous food photography (visit with napkin to wipe drool from keyboard/smartphone).

“I’m really into cauliflower right now”, my friend Helen announced as she pulled Bon Appetit’s version of this dish out of her oven. Now I am too. I’m also obsessed with the idea of roasting an entire head, so when I came across these adorable baby cauliflower at the market the wheels started turning. They make a visually stunning side dish, perfect on cold winter nights.

You can substitute one large cauliflower if you can’t find the little ones.

Recipe for Roasted Whole Baby Cauliflower with Herb and Parmesan
Four baby cauliflower
One small onion, quartered then sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch long pieces
*4 sprigs fresh thyme
*4 sprigs fresh rosemary
*4 sprigs fresh sage
2 tablespoons of good quality olive oil
olive oil spray
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
* I bought a .66 oz package at the market that contained all three.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash the cauliflower. I soaked mine upside down in a big bowl of water to get any grit out of the nooks and crannies. Keep the leaves on. Hold each one over the sink by the stem and spray with olive oil. Tuck the herbs into all of the crevices as shown.
Herbs tucked behind the leaves

Herbs tucked behind the leaves

Place on a rimmed baking sheet with the onions and any remaining herbs. Drizzle each cauliflower with about a tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then turn them over so that the stems face up. Roast for 20 minutes then turn them so that the stems are facing down. Continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes minutes. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan, then top with the shredded and roast until cauliflower is tender and the onions are dark brown, about another 10-12 minutes longer. Serve on per person, with the onions and remaining cheese mixture to the side.




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Jackie is an editorial, advertising and fine-art photographer & author based in Tucson, Arizona specializing in food related themes. Her clients include: Random House, Knopf, Simon & Schuster, Quirk Books, The Globe Pequot Press, Sterling Publishing, Rovio Entertainment (creator of the Angry Birds franchise), Loews Hotels, NBC/Universal,, AARP Bulletin and The U.S. White House. She is the recipient of numerous awards from American Photography, The Photographer’s Master Cup, ASMP and the International Photography Awards (Lucie’s). In 2004 I received the the Black & White Spider Award’s, Merit of Excellence, and in 2001 she was awarded a bronze medal from the London Photographic Awards. She is the author of Sprinkles!: Recipes & Ideas for Rainbowlicious Desserts which will be published in October, 2013. Her book project, Angry Birds; Bad Piggies’ Egg Recipes, won “Best First Cookbook in the World” at the 2011 Gourmand Cookbook Awards. The Bad Piggies Best Egg Recipes app, released in October, 2012, which she photographed and edited, is the best selling cookbook app in the USA, China and numerous other countries.

To contact her in regards to commercial assignment bookings, please email her at: or call 520-749-1949.

For all her latest news, photos and press visit her blog. View her editorial, advertising and fine art photography portfolio at her official website.

Find Jackie on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin