Roasted Cauliflower With Pine Nut, Raisin, and Caper Vinaigrette Recipe

Simple roasted cauliflower gets dressed up with a sophisticated vinaigrette.

Roasted cauliflower dressed with a pine nut, raisin, and caper vinaigrette mounded in the center of a square, white serving dish.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt. Video: Serious Eats Video

Why This Recipe Works

  • Slicing the head of cauliflower into wedges, rather than cutting it into small pieces, creates greater contrast between the caramelized exterior and tender interior.
  • A sweet and tangy vinaigrette nicely offsets the nuttiness of the cauliflower.

Cauliflower and broccoli look similar at first, and the goal is the same when you're roasting them—sweet nuttiness from browning and caramelization—but cauliflower (and its cousin romanesco) is much denser than broccoli, and thus needs to be treated differently to get there.

As with other brassicas, high heat is what you're after here in order to get the most flavor out of cauliflower. Cutting the heads up into fat wedges helps build up a nice contrast between the deeply browned exterior and the tender, meaty interior. It's cauliflower that eats almost like a steak.

Close-up of roasted, deeply browned florets of cauliflower.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

I have found that the best method is to split trimmed cauliflower (or romanesco) through the core into six to eight wedges, toss with oil, season, and roast at 500°F (260°C) until browned and tender, flipping once during cooking.

Charred cauliflower florets on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Serious Eats / J. Kenji López-Alt

Roasted cauliflower is great on its own, with just a drizzle of really good olive oil or lemon, but I like to turn mine into a warm salad with a more elaborate vinaigrette, like this one flavored with pine nuts, capers, and raisins.


How to Roast Cauliflower

December 2013

Recipe Details

Roasted Cauliflower With Pine Nut, Raisin, and Caper Vinaigrette Recipe

Active 20 mins
Total 40 mins
Serves 4 servings

Simple roasted cauliflower gets dressed up with a sophisticated vinaigrette.


  • 1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 8 wedges

  • 6 tablespoons (90ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon (15mlsherry vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon (15mlhoney

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup raisins

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 500°F (260°C). Toss cauliflower with 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast until cauliflower is tender and deeply browned on both sides, about 20 minutes total, flipping cauliflower with a thin metal spatula halfway through roasting.

  2. While cauliflower roasts, combine remaining 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil, vinegar, honey, capers, pine nuts, raisins, and parsley. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

  3. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a serving plate and spoon dressing on top. Serve immediately.

Special Equipment

Rimmed baking sheet, thin metal spatula

Read More

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
316 Calories
27g Fat
19g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 316
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 34%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 282mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 65mg 325%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 338mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)