Thursday, 6 October 2011

Roast Purple, Green and White Cauliflower with Garlic and Chilli

Controversial cauliflowers pre-roasting

This was one of the things I made for my birthday meetup on Saturday. When I pulled the alien-looking purple and green cauliflower out of their bags, there was a collective "eeeee!" to which I simply replied "We're eating that for dinner."

Cauliflowers are coming into season as the temperature takes a dip. I was working at the farmers' market that morning, and I couldn't resist picking these beautiful aliens up. Plus, they always say to get more colourful vegetables. To make sure my friends would still eat them, I decided to roast these cauliflowers, because almost all vegetables taste better roasted, and with garlic and chilli, because everyone loves garlic and chilli.

Roast Purple, Green and White Cauliflower with Garlic and Chilli
a mix of cauliflowers (or you can use just the normal ones)
as much garlic as you like
dried whole chillies, soaked and split (or just chilli flakes)
few drops of toasted sesame oil
unrefined sea salt
generous glug of extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
2. Break the cauliflowers into roughly even-sized florets, smash the garlic cloves but leave them in their skins.
3. Put all into a roasting tray, scatter with dried chilli, sea salt, sesame oil and olive oil, toss to coat. Roast, stirring occasionally, for about 20 min, or till tender and lightly browned.

If you've always thought these brain-like vegetables are boring and tasteless, please try roasting them! They become absolutely yummy, with those slightly spicy, caramelised edges, and if you're still not convinced, there's the roast garlic in the same pan too, and pretty much no one turns down roast garlic.


  1. I love green cauliflowers... they look like awesome, naturally occurring fibonacci spirals! So cool. I've never been a huge fan of cauliflower either. Too many childhood memories of watery cauliflower cheese ... ick!

    I've rediscovered it recently though, roasted with some chilli like this is wonderful!

    By the way, your profile on the left still says you're 20! :D

  2. I grew one of those green cauliflowers once - very small, but very delish!

  3. What lovely colors! And I do love cauliflower.

  4. I love cauliflowers so much I don't even need them in fancy colours, but I admit that even if one likes vegetables, they always taste better when they have brighter colours. I have recently seen on my market not only the green and violet ones, but also bright yellow cauliflowers!
    I am also a chili and garlic freak. Everything tastes better with garlic, chili and... soy sauce :-) Your wonderful recipe makes me want to roast cauliflowers for the first time in my life (I always simply blanch them).
    Your job on the farmers' market must be fascinating, you will become an expert in fruits and vegetables (do you have to wake up early? my markets start about 6 am!).

  5. Woohoo! Our local award winning farmers market greengrocer called Grown stocks all three varieties, but I'd never thought to put them together! I *adore* roasted cauli, so this would be like my dream dinner hehe. Must try it with chilli - out plant is begging to be picked

  6. i havent seen a purple cauliflower here..looks so attractive!

  7. charles: i'm delaying changing it..... ok i'll do it ):

    little macaroon: you GREW your own? I'm so impressed!

    stephen/victoria/sue: lovely to people like us haha! my friends were less than thrilled.

    sissi: oh i wish I can see the yellow ones! now that you've mentioned them, I'm going to be on a perpetual hunt for them till I find them. haha. It is early, and I always grumble when the alarm sounds, but going to the market makes up for it (:

    zo: i just thought it'd make more of a statement at the table with 3 colours haha. Yes, do try them, I bet they'll be awesome with your own chilli!

    sonia: thank you!

    lena: yes, it's unheard of in singapore/malaysia, which is why I immediately zoomed in on them!

  8. LOVE the purple cauliflower! It is on my garden list for the fall. Gorgeous colors there.

  9. I loooove roasted vegetables too! I hope I get to find one of these purple cauliflowers at my market one day and roast them too. Love the recipe, clean and simple and lets the fresh veg speak for themselves! =D

  10. The cauliflower is beautiful!! I love roasted vegetables of all kinds, and especially cauliflower. Next time I'm adding chili and garlic!

  11. i like your pictures and would like to invite you to share them on

  12. Love the green cauliflower...never seen it before! Cauliflower with chilli & garlic is one of my fav things to cook each time!

  13. mary: I know! Taste-wise, it's the same, but the colour just makes me want to eat it!

    winston: thanks! yup, simpler is better, esp when you've got a ton of things to do at the same time!

    katherine: mm chilli and garlic makes everything better.

    foodie: thank you, i'm honoured to!

    tanvi: it's called a romanesco cauliflower, beautiful aren't they! haha i can imagine, your blog is "sinfully spicy" after all (:

  14. What a lovely recipe this is. I think roasting is one of my favourite ways to use cauliflower. And I love that you've used the three different varieties.

  15. Awesome, garlic and chilli will give it a real kick I imagine!