Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachios and Raisins turns a humble vegetable into a beautiful, caramelized and delicious dish! Garlic butter, crunchy pistachios and sweet golden raisins turn roasted cauliflower into a company worthy recipe.
If you ever had to eat over-boiled, boring cauliflower as a kid, you’ve probably hated it ever since. Don’t blame the veggie – blame the cooking method. I’m here to tell you that roasting this nutritious, low-carb vegetable will change your mind! As the cauliflower roasts in the oven it browns and caramelizes, changing the flavor from sulfurous to sublime. Instead of being mushy, the texture is slightly firm on the outside and smooth on the inside. Basically, roasting cauliflower turns it into a completely different vegetable. One you will not only love, but will crave. Especially this Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachios and Raisins. At least that’s what happened to me!
Roasting almost any vegetable will make it more delicious. The dry heat from the oven really brings out the natural sweetness, and the browned parts of the veggie add another flavor dimension. It’s also a very simple process. All you need to roast vegetables is olive oil, salt and pepper. Roasted cauliflower is great on it’s own, but when you add garlic, golden raisins and toasted nuts? It’s amazing.
I used pistachios to top the cauliflower, but also have macadamia nuts pictured as an equally delicious alternative! You can also use any kind of raisins you have, I just liked the extra sweetness of the golden variety.
That giant head of cauliflower can be intimidating to look at, but never fear, preparing the cauliflower is a piece of cake! Just tear the leaves off the bottom, cut it in half, then cut the florets off the core. If you’re making cauliflower potato mashers and are going to boil the cauliflower, you can stop at this step since you want the larger pieces.
But since we’re roasting our cauliflower we’re going to take it a step further and slice the florets. The best part of roasting cauliflower, or any vegetable, is the caramelization that happens everywhere it’s in contact with the hot metal baking sheet. To get as much of this yumminess happening as possible, you need as much flat surface area on your cauliflower as possible (this is, like, science!). For the large florets, slice them into 2 or 3 pieces, and when you get to the little florets you can leave them whole. You don’t want tiny pieces or they will burn before the bigger pieces are done.
Next you’ll toss the cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper. Now you’ll put the cauliflower on your baking pan, making sure to lay them flat side down on the baking sheet. This will allow that magical browning to happen!
While the cauliflower is roasting, you can prepare your toppings of sliced garlic, golden raisins and roasted pistachios. You can use any other type of nut you like, or none at all. Because as we all know, sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t. I highly recommend them.
These toppings are what makes Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachios and Raisins extra delicious! I also chopped some Italian parsley to sprinkle on top, but that is completely optional.
To make the toppings taste even better, we’ll sauté the raisins and garlic over low heat in some butter! This is still a healthy dish, it’s just enough butter to enhance the flavors. This also allows the raisins to plump up a bit so they won’t be too chewy.
When the cauliflower comes out of the oven, it will be beautiful, browned and tender.
You can definitely stop right here and eat the roasted cauliflower the way it is and be very happy – but why stop there when you can make it even more delicious?!?
Pour your beautiful garlic butter raisins over the top of the roasted cauliflower, and then sprinkle the pistachios and parsley on top. Heaven!
I especially like to serve the Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachios and Raisins with cumin scented rice. The flavors blend together really well. I added a teaspoon of turmeric to the cumin rice recipe to make it pretty, and also because I didn’t want an entire plate of white food! Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Try roasting some cauliflower tonight, it will change your life for the better! At the very least, it will increase your love of veggies, which is always a good thing.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cored, with florets sliced into large pieces.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- ½ cup golden raisins, chopped if desired
- ⅓ cup roasted pistachios
- Italian parsley, chopped to garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Cut the head of cauliflower in half, then cut the large florets off of the core. Discard the cores. Slice each large floret into two or three large slices, depending on the size of the florets. When you get to the small florets, you can leave them whole. Toss the cauliflower with one tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
- Lay the cauliflower pieces on the baking sheet, cut side down to get the most browning. Sprinkle another tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the cauliflower. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and nicely browned.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, place the butter in a small saucepan and heat over medium low heat until melted. Add the chopped golden raisins and sauté for five minutes or so. Add the sliced garlic, reduce the heat to low, and sauté for another 5 minutes. You want the garlic to infuse the butter, but do not want the garlic to brown as it may become bitter. Set the butter mixture aside until the cauliflower is done.
- When the cauliflower is nicely roasted, place it in your serving bowl and top with the butter, garlic, raisin mixture and the pistachios. Top with parsley, if desired, to make it look pretty.