Italian Roasted Cauliflower with Olives & Tomatoes



Easy, healthy, flavorful, and self-sufficient. Those adjectives comprise my “big four” for weeknight cooking. When I say self-sufficient, I mean that the dish needs to just cook on its own without too much fussing required from the cook. I just finished a long day of work {in heels} and a thirty mile commute. I’m not in the mood most nights to delicately craft an exquisite feast. We eat well during the week, but that’s because over the years I’ve gotten quite good at doing prep work ahead of time and planning meals that rely on re-purposed leftovers. 

The leftovers from the first night’s serving of my Italian roasted cauliflower, for example, were enjoyed on night two on a bed of spaghetti squash (served hot with chevre, garlic salt, and parsley) with grilled pork, as showcased below:

And pictured again, because is there anything better in the world than a roasted tomato that bursts in your mouth?




Another leftover iteration included roasted sweet potatoes and crumbled chevre: 



The key to a good leftover meal is making something versatile enough to take on the flavor of other foods after the first round is enjoyed. Cauliflower is naturally adept at absorbing flavors and is one of my “foundation foods” (I’ve really got the cooking for two thing down to a science when I have coined my own phrases, haven’t I?). 

This recipe, which is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, has a couple less dynamic components that I might normally shy away from with the addition of olives and tomatoes. It’s not like I can turn the leftovers into a Thai curry with olives. But, I love the intense saltiness of olives paired with the acidity of the tomatoes and the mellow cauliflower. And I don’t mind committing to eating versions of Mediterranean dinners for the rest of the week. 


Italian Roasted Cauliflower with Olives & Tomatoes
Serves four as a side dish


You will need:

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized chunks
  • 8 large green olives, pitted and sliced
  • 6 sundried tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, assorted colors, sliced in half
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil, red pepper flakes, and oregano (adjust to taste/modify for fresh herbs)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit
  • Add all ingredients to a large, oven-proof dish, drizzling the olive oil in last. 
  • Toss the mixture to evenly combine. 
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until cauliflower is golden brown.
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