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Roasted Cauliflower with Browned Butter, Hazelnuts, and Capers

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Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 131

With its tangy mustard and thyme glaze, this roasted cauliflower looks so dramatic that you may want to take it to the table whole and “carve” it there. It’s delicious with roast chicken, salmon, or pork.

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped to the size of capers
  • 2 Tbs. nonpareil capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.

Trim the stem end of the cauliflower and remove the leaves. With a paring knife, carefully cut out 1-1/2 inches of the core, keeping the head intact. Season the cauliflower generously all over with salt and pepper, transfer to the baking sheet, and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until partially cooked and a small knife inserted in the stem end meets with slight resistance, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the foil and let the cauliflower cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and thyme. Spread the mixture onto the cauliflower, coating it all over. Roast, rotating the pan occasionally, until the cauliflower is evenly browned and tender throughout when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes more.

In an 8-inch skillet, cook the butter over medium-low heat until the milk solids begin to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Immediately add the hazelnuts, capers, and lemon juice, and remove from the heat. Cut the cauliflower into pieces and serve with the sauce spooned over it.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 180, Fat (kcal): 17, Fat Calories (g): 150, Saturated Fat (g): 5, Protein (g): 3, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 6, Carbohydrates (mg): 6, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 5, Sodium (g): 300, Cholesterol (g): 20, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Scott Phillips

I rarely write recipe reviews, but I think this is one recipe cauliflower lovers should try. The glaze on the roasted cauliflower head makes the vegetable even more flavorable and the presentation is very attractive. I found it easy to prepare and my audience loved it.

This is amazing and a recipe I crave regularly. I substitute pine nuts for the hazelnuts but otherwise follow the recipe exactly. I love cauliflower and this is by far my favorite way to make it now. It's very important to get the browned butter just that - brown... Not over or underdone, but perfect nutty sweetness.

Blech,I made this for Thanksgiving, and followed the recipe exactly. We're all big vegetable eaters but no one liked it.

I'm always for looking for new twists on old favorites. I tested this to see if this was good enough for Thanksgiving this year. My husband and I finished it ourselves. It's incredible. I used slivered almonds instead of hazelnuts. Next time, I don't think it needs as much butter. The capers and lemon with the crunch of the nuts make the dish. It definitely made the cut. I am making 2 for Thanksgiving, one for each side of the table!

Beautiful whole and delicious!

Loved it. Substituted roasted pine nuts. So good

This is an exceptionally delicious cauliflower recipe. Two of us ate it in one sitting. A repeat recipe for sure

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