Roasted cauliflower with pesto

Roasted cauliflower with pesto

  • Author: Craig
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Sides


This is probably my favourite thing to do with a cauliflower – if you’ve impulse bought a cauliflower and are not sure what to do with it, then this is where you should start. It’s great as a quick weeknight wonder dinner with a baked sweet potato or as a side with a larger meal. Serves 2 as lunch or dinner or four as a side.


  • 1 cauliflower
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 handfuls of basil
  • 50g pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Break your cauliflower head down in to florets and scatter them across a large baking tray (you’ll be left with an ugly great stalk – don’t just chuck it away, use it for soup!). Drizzle with a little of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss in the tray to fully coat them. Bake for about 40 minutes. Check every 10-12 minutes, and shake the tray so that they roast on all sides. A little blackening is exactly what you’re looking for.

About ten minutes before the cauliflower is cooked, chuck all the remaining dry pesto ingredients into a food processor – basil, pine nuts, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic (crush before adding), salt and pepper – add about half your remaining oil and blitz the processor for 5-10 seconds. If your pesto looks dry, add about another tablespoon of olive oil. Blitz again. Continue blitzing at 5 second intervals until you have the pesto consistency and all the pine nuts are broken down. You might not need all the oil, so don’t worry if you have some left over.

Put the pesto into a little dish and once the cauliflower is cooked transfer it into a bowl or serving dish. either drizzle your pesto over the cauliflower or use it as a dip.