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Roasted Baby Cauliflower

You have to try this new baby cauliflower. It’s sweet, delicate, tender and delicious – kind of a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. We’re roasting it in this recipe, but you can cook it so many different ways. It’s slowly coming into mainstream stores so grab some if you can find it. 

I get my baby cauliflower in an Asian grocery store in Canada (T&T).  Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell it in the US and probably many other stores, too, by now. I’m a bit late to the game as it was introduced into stores in Japan in 2012. Only to restaurants initially. Now, more and more to the general public. Consider me a recent fan. 

I love the delicate flavor and that it cooks so quickly. And there is almost zero waste. You can literally eat the entire cauliflower including the slim tender stems. 

The nutrition value is another big plus. High fiber, low carb, low calorie. A half pound/80z. of the raw cauliflower contains 36 calories, 3 g protein, 3g fiber, 32mg calcium, 7 carbs and 1mg iron. Moms and dads can introduce it as a good toddler vegetable because it is so tender and easy to chew. 

The mild sweet taste of baby cauliflower makes it a versatile side for almost any protein. I love it with marinated flank steak, coconut curry salmon, balsamic glazed chicken and spicy honey-lime chicken

Just try it 🙂

Other names for baby cauliflower 

  • Fioretto
  • Biancoli
  • Sweet sprouting cauliflower
  • Karifurore
  • Flowering cauliflower
  • Stick cauliflower
  • Chinese cauliflower
  • Some stores sell it packaged under the brand name Caulilini.

Cooking Methods

My favorite cooking method for this vegetable is roasting. The brown crispy edges of the flowers are just delish. But lots of other methods are good too – microwave, stir fry, raw with dips or in salads, steamed and grilled. Check out some of our other cauliflower recipes below.

Tailor To Your Taste

I kept the recipe super basic so feel free to play around with the seasonings, drizzles and garnishes. 

  • Seasonings: Try adding curry powder, Parmesan cheese, or red chili flakes for heat. 
  • Drizzles: Try balsamic reduction, Japanese salad dressing, basil pesto or red pepper sauce. 
  • Garnishes: If you like lemon, a sprinkle of lemon zest after roasting is a wonderful flavor booster. Other good options are toasted chopped nuts, green onions, pea sprouts, chopped tomatoes or strawberries (for color). 

Make Ahead

  • Complete the recipe and let it sit on counter until needed. When ready to use, warm the cauliflower in a hot oven for 5 minutes. Or, transfer to a dish after roasting and warm it in microwave for 1 minute when ready to use.
  • Alternatively, the baby cauliflower can be served at room temperature or even cold.

Other cauliflower recipes you might like

Feel free to substitute baby cauliflower for the regular cauliflower used in these recipes. Just remember to reduce the amount of cooking time. 

How to roast baby cauliflower

raw whole baby cauliflower
Raw whole baby cauliflower. Note the delicate stems and flowers.
raw whole baby cauliflower on cutting board
The entire baby cauliflower is edible. I just cut off the bottom thick stem – about 2 inches/5cm – and use the rest.
Recipe ingredients: cut up baby cauliflower, olive oil, salt, pepper and optional garlic powder.
Recipe ingredients: cut up baby cauliflower, olive oil, salt, pepper and optional garlic powder.
baby cauliflower pieces on pan before roasting
Toss baby cauliflower with oil and seasonings. Place in single layer is a large pan sprayed with oil.
roasted baby cauliflower on pan
Roast at 425F/218C for about 15 minutes until tips of flowers are brown and cauliflower is tender.
roasted baby cauliflower on plate with pea sprout and lemon garnish p
Serve with lemon zest and other garnishes as desired.
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5 from 8 votes

Roasted Baby Cauliflower

You have to try this new baby cauliflower. It's sweet, delicate, tender and delicious - kind of a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. We're roasting it in this recipe, but you can cook it so many different ways. It's slowly coming into mainstream stores so grab some if you can find it. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Cheryl, Two Kooks In The Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 large baby cauliflower, about 2 lbs/0.9kg also called Fioretto, Stick, Flowering, Biancoli, Karifurore, Sweet Sprouting, Chinese cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)

Optional Garnishes

  • zest from 1 lemon (optional but great)
  • Parmesan cheese, toasted crushed nuts, red pepper sauce, pesto, pea sprouts, balsamic reduction, chopped strawberries.

Instructions

  • HEAT OVEN TO 425F/218C. Spray large pan with oil. Or, for easy clean up, line large pan with parchment or foil sprayed with oil.
  • PREPARE BABY CAULIFLOWER: Cut 2 inches/5cm off thick bottom stem. Cut the rest of cauliflower into small pieces, leaving on small stems. Toss with oil, salt and pepper (and garlic powder if using). Lay in single layer in pan. Do not overcrowd the pan or the cauliflower will steam.
  • ROAST for 15 minutes until flower tips become brown and cauliflower is tender. Transfer to plate or bowl and sprinkle with lemon zest and/or other garnishes if desired Note 1. Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Tailor to Your Taste
    • Seasonings: Try adding curry powder, Parmesan cheese, or red chili flakes for heat. 
    • Drizzles: Try balsamic reduction, Japanese salad dressing, basil pesto or red pepper sauce. 
    • Garnishes: If you like lemon, a sprinkle of lemon zest after roasting is a wonderful flavor booster. Other good options are toasted chopped nuts, green onions, pea sprouts, chopped tomatoes or strawberries (for color).
  2. Make Ahead
    • Complete the recipe and let it sit on counter until needed. When ready to use, warm the cauliflower in a hot oven for 5 minutes. Or, transfer to a dish after roasting, then warm it in microwave for 1 minute when ready to use.
    • Alternatively, the baby cauliflower can be served at room temperature or even cold.
 
Nutrition values are estimates and do not include optional garnishes or toppings. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Roasted Baby Cauliflower
Amount Per Serving
Calories 129 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 625mg27%
Potassium 430mg12%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin C 69mg84%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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