We are caught in the cauliflower craze! This modest, vitamin-rich vegetable may be the best thing that ever happened to healthy cooking because it is amazingly versatile and can take on any flavor. Our Roasted Cauliflower recipe transforms a simple, yet nutritious, white veggie into a side dish that is incredibly flavorful, full of nutrients, and wonderfully delicious, just by cooking it a certain way. When cauliflower is roasted, the caramelization process enhances its natural essence and its taste becomes subtle and sweet. We then top it with our nut-free, vegan pesto, made with omega-rich hemp seeds in place of the nuts. We love the combination of nutty hemp seeds with earthy flaxseeds to create a pesto sauce that is packed with protein, amino acids, fiber, iron and healthy fats. This pesto lifts any roasted cauliflower to healthy new heights!
Nutrient Booster: Cauliflower
Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and is especially high in vitamins C and K, folate, and fiber. This cruciferous vegetable is rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, two naturally occurring plant-based compounds that may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Adding cauliflower into your daily diet can lower your risk of inflammation, help regulate your blood pressure, keep your nervous system healthy, and protect your bones. Cauliflower’s mild flavor makes it a nutritious, versatile swap for other less nutrient-dense foods and is one of the latest trends in healthy eating. Rice it, mash it, steam it, or roast it, cooking with cauliflower is the perfect way to add more vegetables to any meal.
Make Once, Eat Twice
When it comes to leftover pesto, there are so many delicious ways it can enhance any recipe. Pesto can be used as a pasta sauce, as a topping for pizza, as a spread on sandwiches, or as a salad dressing mix-in. Pesto is also a perfect addition to soups, dips, spreads and sauces. You can drizzle it over eggs, bake it into bread, garnish your veggies, or season your meat. Our pesto recipe is so simple to double, and when you have a ready supply, it’s easy to create a variety of meals. We especially love spreading pesto on our roasted cauliflower –a healthy side to accompany your favorite main. Check out some of our favorite dinner ideas, like our Black Sesame Encrusted Salmon, Tandoori Chicken Thighs and our Classic Turkey Meatballs, that pair deliciously with this dish.
Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto
- 1 head cauliflower, washed
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup hemp hearts
- 2 tablespoons miso + 1 tablespoon warm water, or nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons cold milled flaxseeds
- 3 cups basil leaves, packed
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- splash of lemon juice, optional
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Place the cauliflower on a cutting board, and remove leaves from the base of the cauliflower. Using a chef’s knife, cut it so the core is flat, and turn it upside down. Cut into three to four steaks then cut into smaller pieces, so it’s easier to manage.
In a food processor, add the garlic, sea salt, hemp hearts, miso, flax seed until finely chopped, about one minute. Add the basil and slowly add a running stream of olive oil until smooth. Process for another minute or two. Taste and add lemon juice, if desired.
Gently place the cauliflower on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a 1/2 cup of pesto and spread it evenly on each side of cauliflower with a pastry brush.
Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, flipping after the allotted time. Place back into the oven and cook the opposite side for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown.
*Store the remaining pesto in the refrigerator in a sealed container labeled and dated which can be refrigerated for 5-7 days adding a drizzle of oil on top so the color stays green. Freeze pesto in a freezer safe container for 3 months. It can be frozen in an ice cube tray and once frozen pop the pesto cubes in a freezer safe container or bag for easy use.
Calories: 80 calories, Fat: 5 grams, Saturated fat: 1 gram, Carbohydrates: 5 grams, Sugar: 2 grams, Sodium: 70 milligrams, Fiber: 3 gram, Protein: 3 grams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
(1) Ambrosone CB, Tang L. Cruciferous vegetable intake and cancer prevention: role of nutrigenetics. Cancer Prev Res (Phila Pa). 2009 Apr;2(4):298-300. 2009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16762953