Get some damn flavor into your cauliflower, then spoon this saucy goodness over rice bowls, noodles, and even into tacos. You get the idea. Plus, hands-off caramelized onions are an awesome bonus. Easy to make, no frills, with just the right amount of heat.
This isn’t a new recipe, but I wanted to revamp my spiced cauliflower cold noodles post with one that focused just on the cauliflower so you can eat it with any carb you’re feeling that day. Cause, what if it’s not a noodle sort of day? What if you just want a big bowl of rice (me), or mashed potatoes, a wrap, or even quinoa (not me, but maybe you!).
I also simplified my recipe so it only uses readily available ingredients. My homemade habanero extract is potent and adds a huge punch of flavor (or maybe just burn) to anything I put it in, but I don’t expect all of you to make it.
I went back to my Williams & Sonoma cookbook to refresh my memory on what my original recipe inspiration called for. The first thing I noticed was that they make it on the stovetop, even though the ingredients list a large 3 lb. head of cauliflower. Anybody who has ever chopped up a large head of cauliflower knows that is simply too much to cook in a pan in a SINGLE layer, which is what the W & S recipe tells you to do.
Even with a big chunk of stem removed, the cut cauliflower barely squeezed onto a baking tray in a single layer. You’d either need a huge mothership of a pan (they probably have this in their test kitchens) or you’d need to cook your cauliflower in three batches. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Instead, put your baking tray in the oven while it’s preheating to get a sizzling surface to dump the cauliflower on, just like a hot pan.
Look! Caramelized onions! No need to sweat over the stovetop. They just do their own thing in the oven, melding with all that sauce, which you shouldn’t waste either. Not one bit. Scrape it all up. It’s crazy good stirred into rice.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven while it is preheating.
- Wash and cut the cauliflower into florets. Slice the onion and jalapeno peppers. Add all three to a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk spices, honey, oil, salt and pepper together in a small mixing bowl. Pour over the cauliflower and toss until well coated.
- When the oven is preheated, carefully slide the rack with the rimmed baking sheet out and dump the cauliflower onto the baking sheet along with all the sauce. Spread the cauliflower out into an even layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the cauliflower halfway through. Take the pan out of the oven and swirl the cauliflower all around, mopping up the caramelized sauce, especially in the corners.
- Serve hot over rice, tossed into noodles, inside a taco, etc. Sprinkle cilantro over it too.
Inspired by Williams-Sonoma Vegetable of the Day