Cauliflower is having a moment right now. It used to be thought of as sort of hum-drum...I mean, it's an entirely white vegetable. Not very exciting. But these days, cauliflower is showing up everywhere - pizza, bread sticks, grilled cheese...you get the idea. I actually think cauliflower is best prepared simply, roasted in the oven with nice, crispy brown edges. But, even prepared simply, it can still use a boost in the flavor department. Enter this recipe for Cilantro Garlic and Lime Cauliflower! My husband loved this recipe the first time I served it, and didn't even make any suggested improvements (which is unusual for him!) so that's saying a lot.
I love these flavors together so much, and they really do a lot to pep up the somewhat neutral flavor of cauliflower. And - there is a secret ingredient...mayonnaise! It sounds strange, but it really helps to brown the cauliflower, and gives a subtle rich texture that you can't really get from using only oil to roast. I don't think you can tell there is mayo in the final product either, but it's really doing a lot!
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How to Prepare Cilantro Garlic and Lime Cauliflower:
The steps to prepare this delicious side dish are super straightforward. Just whisk together the mayo, minced garlic, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Dump in the cauliflower florets, and toss to combine. I suggest using your hands to toss the cauliflower. Gets the job done super fast and easy!
Also, when you are cutting up your florets, you need to make them on the smaller side for them to be cooked in the time listed in the recipe. So, about one and a half to two inch chunks is a good size. Of course, you can cut them larger, they will just need more time in the oven.
And the cilantro gets added in at the end, after the cauliflower is roasted, because otherwise you'll lose most of the fresh, green flavor. Just give it a quick toss directly on the baking sheet before serving to evenly distribute the cilantro. Finally, don't forget the final sprinkle of salt at the end! This really helps to pop the flavor. My favorite finishing salt is Maldon, its flaky texture gives a burst of salt flavor but without the super hard crunch like some other coarse sea salts.
There are a few swaps you could easily make if you don't like cilantro - try parsley, fresh dill, or basil. And you could also use lemon instead of lime - or maybe even a couple tablespoons of red wine vinegar instead of the citrus! That would be especially good paired with basil I think.
If you try this recipe please rate it and let me know in the comments how it turned out!Print
This roasted cauliflower recipe is super easy but is packed with cilantro, lime and garlic flavor - elevating the basic roasted cauliflower to something truly special!
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- ⅓ c. mayonnaise
- juice of 1 large or 2 small limes, plus extra lime wedges for serving
- 1 tsp. salt, plus more for sprinkling (see note)
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- 3 large or 4 small cloves garlic, minced
- ½ c. finely chopped cilantro
- Preheat oven to 425°
- Whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add in cauliflower florets and toss together until the cauliflower is evenly coated in the mayonnaise mixture.
- Spread the cauliflower out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If there is any remaining garlic mayonnaise in the bowl, pour it over the cauliflower.
- Roast for 20 minutes in preheated oven. Take out and stir cauliflower, then put back in the oven for another 15 - 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is browned and cooked through.
- Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and toss on the pan to evenly distribute. Sprinkle with salt (see note) and serve immediately with lime wedges to squeeze over the top.
If you have it, flaky sea salt is nice to finish the dish with. Otherwise, a sprinkle of whatever salt you used for the dressing will work!
Keywords: cauliflower, mayonnaise, lime, garlic, cilantro