Roasted Cauliflower with Fennel-Chile Dry Rub

I have made cauliflower every which way: I’ve blanched it, sautéed, boiled it, mashed it, deep-fried it, and eaten it raw. Until I read about it on, though, I never knew I could roast it. This recipe really brings out the richness of the cauliflower and matches it perfectly with the robustness of the spices. I use my fennel rub along with a few other spices. If you have sea salt, it works really well with this recipe. The cauliflower tends to shrink when roasted, so one head of cauliflower is about right for 2 servings.


  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel-chili rub
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.Cut the cauliflower into 1-inch florets and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and toss with your hands to coat each floret.

3.In a small bowl, combine the dry rub, coriander and salt. Add the spice mixture to the cauliflower. Once again, no tool is better than your hands. Get in there and make sure all of the florets are well coated.

4.Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet and spread out evenly in a single layer. Don’t worry if it is a little crowded. If you really cannot fit it on one sheet, use two.

5.Bake for about 15 minutes. Stir and bake for another 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is well browned and cooked through. Serve hot.

The recipe is adapted from Modern Spice by Monica Bhide (Simon & Schuster 2009).

Makes 2 Servings

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