Recipe by Alison Roman in Nothing Fancy

This dish is truly nothing fancy in terms of its simplicity. However, the flavor that is created by combining just a few ingredients is magic. I like finishing it with some good, crumbled feta to add a fresh tang, but it certainly doesn’t need it if that’s not your thing. What I do know for sure though, is that I’m not making cauliflower any other way ever again!   


  • 1 large head cauliflower, about 2 lbs.  
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated 
  • I tsp crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds 
  • ½ tsp ground coriander 
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric 
  • 1/3 C olive oil 
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper 
  • ¼ C finely chopped fresh chives, mint, parsley, or cilantro, tender leaves and stems (optional) 
  • Crumbled feta, seasoned yogurt, or labneh (optional) 


  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.  
  1. Break the cauliflower into very small florets, about the size of a large bean. (You can use your hands or a knife.) 
  1. Toss the cauliflower with the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, coriander, turmeric, and olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and lots and lots of pepper. Place in the oven for 15 minutes (no peaking!).  
  1. After 15 minutes, toss the cauliflower occasionally to promote even browning, until each little piece is deeply browned and caramelized, another 15 – 20 minutes.  
  1. Transfer the cauliflower to a large platter and top with the herbs. Serve alongside feta, yogurt, or labneh (optional).  

TIP: Cauliflower can be roasted a few hours ahead, covered loosely, and stored at room temperature.