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I know you didn't come to my blog for vegetable recipes but it's important to highlight the sides every once in a while too. This one is a household favorite and we probably eat it a couple times a month in the winter. It's an excellent accompaniment to a perfectly cooked steak or really whatever your heart desires. Cauliflower has some natural sweetness that is really enhanced by roasting. Add some smoked sea salt and savory flavors like thyme and garlic, and you have yourself a perfect winter side dish.
I start with 2 heads of cauliflower that turns into about 4 servings once it's roasted. It's crazy how much it cooks down, but that's how it develops such an amazing flavor. Most recipes I see for roasted vegetables use an oven temperature of 425°F but I like to go low and slow at 375°F to really let that Maillard reaction do its thing. Trust me, it's worth the wait.
Garlic flakes are one of my go-to ingredients. They're so easy to use and perfect for when you don't have time to peel and mince a bunch of garlic. Who does, really? Plus, they turn into these perfect little crispy bits that are just delicious. I love using fresh herbs whenever possible but dried thyme works just as well for this recipe. But, the one ingredient that really takes this recipe to the next level is smoked sea salt. Next time you think your recipe is missing a little something, give smoked salt a try. Keep some on hand and you'll be putting it on everything, not just cauliflower!
Smoky Roasted Cauliflower with Thyme and Garlic
- 11 cups fresh cauliflower florets (~2 small/medium heads of cauliflower)
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus 1 tbsp
- ¾ teaspoon smoked sea salt
- 1 ½ tablespoon dried minced garlic
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tablespoon dried)
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Make sure all cauliflower florets are cut into bite-sized or smaller pieces. See pictures for reference.
- Grease large sheet pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Add cauliflower to pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with smoked salt, dried garlic, and black pepper. Add thyme sprigs and toss until well combined. Distribute thyme sprigs throughout the pan.
- Roast in preheated oven for approximately 1 hour. Let cauliflower roast for about 30 minutes before stirring/flipping it. After the first 30 minutes, stir/flip the cauliflower every 5-10 minutes until it's done. Serve warm.