Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan & Paprika Breadcrumbs

Everyone eats. But not everybody cooks. The other night, I trudged out into the gray drizzle to buy a bottle of wine and some paprika. I parked my car in Dante’s seventh level of hell, rode up two escalators, pushed and navigated myself to the back of the store, past cases and shelves of pre-prepared food, which could be ready in less than five minutes, waited my turn at the checkout, and thought, “How in God’s name is it possible that anyone still cooks?” We hear the siren call of prepared foods constantly, all day long. It gets louder as we get hungry. Why do all these chain restaurants, grocery stores, corporate food giants want to cook for us? Because they want to nurture us, warm our bellies, tell us they love us with the comforting, steamy aroma of some “lovin from the oven?” Well, probably not.

Before I was allowed to leave home for college, my mother sat me down for a little talk. No, not that talk. “Listen,” she said, a furrow between her brows. “You need to know how to cut up a chicken. The grocery store charges almost twice as much for a cut-up chicken. If you buy it whole, it will be much cheaper.” Imagining all my beer money lining the pockets of the manager of the Piggly Wiggly, I picked up my knife for a lesson in butchery. The truth, I realized, was that everything that gets done to food adds a little to the cost. If I bought fresh vegetables, unprocessed meats, live crawfish, unpeeled shrimp, whole fish, dried beans, rice, and pasta, I would save a bunch of cash. Lesson learned. Along the way, I bought a giant stockpot, rented an apartment on Chimes street, and had a lot of friends. I loved that my apartment always had an open door and a big pot of gumbo, bolognese, crawfish etoufee, or red beans and rice on the stove. That was my siren call, and it still is. Another lesson learned. If you open your doors and feed people, it can offer you the greatest joy humans can experience. Feeding people, awakening their senses, offering simple pleasure, warming them–this is why I cook. And to me, that’s priceless.

Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan and Paprika Breadcrumbs

1 head cauliflower, separated into florets

olive oil

salt and pepper

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

2 thick slices rustic, heart white bread, crusts removed

2 tsp. paprika

Place cauliflower florets in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat well, then add grated parmesan, and toss until coated. Place on baking sheet or in large, oven-proof skillet and roast at 425 until browned.

Meanwhile, place bread in food processor and process into fine crumbs. Heat olive oil in a large skillet, then add paprika and breadcrumbs. Cook over medium heat until crunchy and fragrant. Pour out onto paper towels or brown paper bag and set aside.

When cauliflower is roasted, remove to plates or serving platter and top with breadcrumbs. Leftover breadcrumbs are delicious as a garnish for soup or salads.

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10 Responses to “Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan & Paprika Breadcrumbs”

  1. jvanvleet

    I am a new follower of your blog! I love all the pictures, the writing, and the focus on fresh local whole food! I was so excited to see this recipe because I had an inkling to buy some cauliflower yesterday – and what perfect timing – I will try this one out tonight!!

    Reply
    • farmhousetable

      Thank you! Let us know what you think. I used the leftover paprika breadcrumbs on a romaine salad with pickled red onions, avocado, and buttermilk-herb dressing.

      Reply
  2. jvanvleet

    oh dear – I am not sure how to ‘roast’ something in the oven! can you explain what that means? Is there a temp to set the oven to?

    Reply
  3. Christy Seals

    I just made this deliciously simple dish and am trying to keep myself from eating the entire cauliflower from my delivery! I roasted in my convection oven at 325 for about 30 minutes. My cauliflower wasn’t as yellow as the photos– I may not have used as much olive oil? I used the delicious Texas Ranch Olive Oil, which is so good you can practically drink it from a glass!

    Reply
    • farmhousetable

      Mine was yellow because I used an orange cauliflower! They all taste exactly the same to me, though. I LOVE that olive oil–it makes me even prouder to be from Texas. Also, I usually roast at a higher temp for a shorter time, but I’m so glad to know it works at 325-350 too, since there are many times I need to put something else in the oven at the same time at a lower temperature.

      Reply
  4. Laura Agnew

    Thanks! This was great!! I overcooked it and didn’t have breadcrumbs so just sprinkled the paprika on the finished product and it was delicious.

    Every recipe I have made from the Farmhouse blog has been a winner. Many thanks.

    Reply
    • farmhousetable

      Cauliflower is very forgiving! I’m so glad you liked it–I also love it roasted with either bolognese or marinara sauce and parmesan–never even miss the pasta!

      Reply
  5. Margaret

    “I loved that my apartment always had an open door and a big pot of gumbo, bolognese, crawfish etoufee, or red beans and rice on the stove. That was my siren call, and it still is. Another lesson learned. If you open your doors and feed people, it can offer you the greatest joy humans can experience. Feeding people, awakening their senses, offering simple pleasure, warming them–this is why I cook. And to me, that’s priceless.”

    Wow, great sentiment. I can not possibly agree more. That’s exactly why I cook as well. I love the camaraderie at the table, the sharing, the talking, the joy that good food & wine can bring. I love the creativity of cooking, the experimentation, the ritual, and of course, the sharing. It all means nothing without the sharing. Well, not as much :-> for sure.

    Thank you for that~ I am newly relocated to this area, and am missing my old foodie bunch, with whom I spent many hours of cooking & eating. It’s only a matter of time, I know, till I find my new group to cook with and cook for, and I am inspired by what I find at the Farmer’s Markets.

    But tonight I raise my glass to you, as a kindred spirit. Cheers! ~and blessings to you and yours.

    Reply
    • farmhousetable

      it won’t take long at all to find your foodie people–Austin is warm, open & inclusive! hope you’ll come see us at Rain Lily Farm sometime soon too. We’ll have some fun happy hours and gatherings there once the weater warms up. Welcome to Austin!

      Reply

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