Roasted Cauliflower with Buttery Parmesan Bread Crumb Topping

Golden buttery breadcrumbs transform roasted cauliflower into an irresistible side dish suitable for a holiday feast, a formal dinner party, and because it is so easy to make, a busy weeknight.

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2 large heads cauliflower, cut into florets, about 16 cups
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F; place one oven rack in the lower third and one in the upper third of the oven. Lightly oil two large shallow baking sheet pans.
  2. Combine the cauliflower, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; toss well and place on the prepared pans. Roast 10 minutes; toss the cauliflower, rotate the pans and bake 10 minutes longer. Stir again and cook until the cauliflower is lightly browned and fork tender, about another 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving dish.
  3. While the cauliflower cooks, prepare the topping. Melt the butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until it just begins to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the bread crumbs and cook until lightly browned, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; cool 5 minutes and stir in the cheese and basil. Sprinkle mixture over cauliflower and serve.


To make it ahead, roast the cauliflower until it is nearly but not quite fork tender and make the topping, but don’t combine them. Just before serving, warm the topping in the microwave or in a loosely covered baking dish in the oven. Heat the cauliflower on the roasting pans, transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with warmed topping.