Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing

Did you know that you can roast the cauliflower leaves?!  Me either!  They come out crisp and delicious like kale chips after just a few minutes in the oven and make a perfect accompaniment to the other flavours and textures in this dish.

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I tested this recipe from bonappetit because I want to include a cauliflower side dish in my upcoming Fall meal plan.  I used a lot less olive oil than the original recipe but otherwise followed it as written. With the roasted leaves, parsley and lemon it’s a real winner.  And, of course – quick and easy!

We already know that this is one of the best veggies nutrition-wise but did you know that the leaves are rich in calcium and iron?  By virtue of being leaves, they are rich in fibre too.  Foods rich in calcium and iron have several health benefits ranging from healthy bones, better immunity and the high fibre content aids digestion and keeps the gut healthy. A 100 g serving of leaves has approximately 600 mg of calcium in it- wow!

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing | Simply Fresh Dinners

A little olive oil, salt and pepper and you’re good to go.   Roast for 25 minutes, spritz your leaves with a little oil and add them to the cauliflower and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.  While it’s cooking you can put the 3 ingredient dressing together of olive oil, lemon juice and parsley.  Mix it together with the cauliflower, add a little lemon zest and it’s ready for the table.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing | Simply Fresh Dinners

Now I need to ask you if this is a dish you’d like to include once a month in your family’s meal rotation.  Do you roast cauliflower in your house?  Did your kids grow into cauliflower or did they take to it right away?   Would you add the parsley lemon dressing or would you just roast it plain?  I’ll let you decide whether or not it should go in the book.

If you try this recipe, take a pic and share it with me by hashtagging #simplyfreshdinners and I’ll share it with my readers on Instagram and Twitter.

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing
Recipe Type: Side dish
Author: adapted from
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
We already know that cauliflower is one of the best veggies nutrition-wise but did you know that the leaves are rich in calcium and iron?
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 lb.), cut into florets, including 
 tender leaves
  • 2.5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss cauliflower and 1 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Add leaves in the last 10 minutes of cooking after spritzing with a small amount of olive oil.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 1.5 Tbsp. oil in a food processor until very finely chopped; season with salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower with lemon-parsley mixture and top with lemon zest.

Screenshot 2016-06-08 18.13.11




Change up your cauliflower while adding some powerful nutrients. From Simply Fresh Dinners.


  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    June 9, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Goodness. I truly am going to make this this weekend. I LOVE CAULIFLOWER and I’ve been known to eat an entire head in one sitting with homemade HUMMUS with lots of lemon! YIKES I love roasted cauliflower, and with olive oil? GLORY HALLELUJAH!

    And the leaves? Never knew you could eat those! Love your health and taste sensibilities my friend. HAPPY DAY!

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    June 9, 2016 at 6:10 am

    Cauliflower! You know I’m in 😉
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Grilled Ginger Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini SauceMy Profile

  • Reply
    Blair @ The Seasoned Mom
    June 9, 2016 at 7:07 am

    I had no idea about roasting the leaves! I bet they’re delicious!

    Roasted cauliflower and broccoli are actually some of my all-time favorite veggies. The flavor is addicting!
    Blair @ The Seasoned Mom recently posted…Clean and Healthy Strawberry CrispMy Profile

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    June 9, 2016 at 7:49 am

    We’re crazy about roasted cauliflower but I never thought of roasting the leaves. Brilliant Robyn!
    Chris Scheuer recently posted…Caramelized Banana JamMy Profile

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    June 9, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Beautiful dish! I’m always looking for new ways to cook up cauliflower as we love it here 🙂 Love the addition of the leaves, too.
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers recently posted…One-Pan Extra Creamy Mac and CheeseMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 9, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Hi Robyn, I roast cauliflower all the time but never have thought about the leaves, always toss them. Will be changing that bad habit. Never knew they had so much nutritional value, thanks for the great tip!
    cheri recently posted…Pork Chops in A Mustard Cream Sauce Spiked with Rosemary and a Garden UpdateMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 9, 2016 at 8:57 am

    I need to taste those leaves, if they’re anything like roasted Brussels sprout leaves, or kale, I know I’m going to love them!
    sue|theviewfromgreatisland recently posted…Tangy Lime BarsMy Profile

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    June 9, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    The fiance makes the BESTTT roasted cauliflower – secret ingredient = SAGE!! <3 THIS looks amazing too. So friggin' hungry! Need to go eat my face off, right now!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Beast Mode: The Literal MeaningMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 11, 2016 at 8:58 am

      Oh, I bet it’s delicious! I’m going for the Indian spices next 🙂

  • Reply
    Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
    June 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I always cut off my leaves – but not anymore – thanks for the tip, Robyn! Who knew they were so full of nutritional goodness. I could eat roasted cauliflower every day – a total favorite of mine. Gorgeous pictures!
    Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen recently posted…Roasted New Potatoes With Parmesan And Fresh HerbsMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 11, 2016 at 8:57 am

      Thanks, Geraldine! I actually want to do a post on the leaves because the results of the studies they’ve been doing and the impact they have on our health are quite remarkable. Let’s gobble up those leaves!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    June 9, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    One of my favorite vegetables but I never knew about the leaves. Thank you so much Robyn! The dressing is a great idea too. Sharing!
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert recently posted…Blueberry Buttermilk BiscuitsMy Profile

  • Reply
    June 9, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I LOVE roasted cauliflower but I always discard the leaves and stem and only cook the florets. Thanks for the great tip!
    Sara recently posted…Tuscan Kale SaladMy Profile

    • Reply
      June 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

      I was thrilled to discover it, Sara. Isn’t it great when we can use up the whole veggie?

  • Reply
    June 11, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Hi Robyn,
    This cauliflower recipe sounds quite tasty and easy to make. Browned cauliflower with the lemon zest sure makes my taste buds perk up. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & tweeted!

  • Reply
    Kathryn Grace
    June 11, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    But of course we roast cauliflower at our house. So good! Can’t think of a way we don’t like this plant. I use the leaves whenever I’m lucky enough to find a head with them intact. I also use the leaf stems. Nice and crunchy in salads and just fine in soups or roasted too. I’ll add this recipe to my list. I know we’ll love this variation on an old fave.

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    June 16, 2016 at 6:25 am

    Love the taste that roasting adds to cauliflower. Our market only has cauliflower that has been trimmed down to the flowerets…my loss it seems.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted…A Blogger’s AnniversaryMy Profile

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    June 16, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I love cauliflower (even before it became trendy) and the crispy leave would be just like kale chips! Yum
    Thanks so much for sharing
    Gourmet Getaways
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