Roasted cauliflower leaves…

A little while ago I was intrigued by a post on Laura’s blog about roasting the outer leaves of a cauliflower; I’d read about it before but not yet given it a go myself, so of course, I got straight onto it!

The leaves roast very quickly, especially the outer, thinner, leafy bit, and they get really crispy. The challenge is not to eat them straight out of the oven because, firstly (and obviously if I’d stopped to think about it!) they get really hot, and secondly, if you just wait a few minutes, the leaves crisp up even more (as I discovered after exercising some patience…having burnt my tongue on the really hot one!).

The method is pretty straight forward:

Preheat the oven to 200C fan

Remove and wash the outer leaves – really wash them as this is where little bugs can live

Cut off any browning tips from where the grocer may have previously trimmed the leaves 

Lay the leaves in a single layer on your oven tray and spray with your chosen oil, I used olive oil 

Turn the leaves over and spray both sides

Roast for 5-10 minutes until you see the leaves starting the brown, remove the pan, turn the leaves over and roast a little longer until both sides of the leaves are slightly browned

At this mid point I have experimented with sprinkling the leaves with spices, the ones in the photos below are sprinkled with za’atar 

Once the leaves look browned and crunchy, remove the pan from the oven and allow the leaves to cool for a few minutes, as per the comment above 

These can then be eaten on this own as a snack or side dish, or incorporated into another dish

A note: the spines on the larger outer leaves can be quite thick, and can remain quite chewy to eat; I would still roast these leaves and then cut away the crispy edges once roasted; the inner, smaller leaves will be absolutely fine all the way through 

Yesterday I made the dish below using a mixture of the cauliflower leaves as well as roasting some of the florets and chunks of the main stalk (this part is also very tasty, usually having more flavour than the actual florets, in my opinion)..

I topped my cauliflower with chopped persevered lemon, chopped cashew nuts that I’d roasted and sprinkled with Aleppo chilli flakes, and a herby harissa concoction I created from mixing my rose harissa with chopped coriander, parsley and mixed seeds..

And very nice it was too! Another lovely lunch creation, if I do say so myself 😉 

34 thoughts on “Roasted cauliflower leaves…

  1. sallybr

    When I say you are THE most creative blogger ever, you better believe me! who could tell? I had no idea those leaves would be edible, and now looking at your photos I am drooling here and imagining the taste – I love roasted cauliflower, so the leaves are just the natural departure….

    great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons

    And yet another cauliflower hit! Unless I buy them at the farmer’s market, all the leaves have been stripped. And even there they often don’t have any leaves. I wonder if there is a bag or a box in the back of their truck…just waiting to be composted or thrown away. I will have to ask as they might just give them to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eha

    With our winter cauliflower season just beginning what a time to say ‘I’d never have thought of this’!! Yes, I must admit our caulis also seem to come with but few leaves and yes a smile and a wink might go some ways to getting someone to look ‘behind the scenes’!! Interesting, hugely healthy and oh so interesting!! Shall follow thru’ . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. skd

    Cauliflower leaves!! This is new to me Elaine. Never heard or tried before. Well! I always make my way out of your blog having learnt something new. I will love to try it ☺

    Liked by 1 person

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