Cauliflower rice. Cauliflower pizza. Mashed Cauliflower “potatoes”. Cauliflower gnocchi. Have you been seeing cauliflower in basically everything lately? Well today it’s back to basics, because a lot of us liked cauliflower before it was cool. And this Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Cashew Sauce celebrates the delicious flavor of cauliflower on its own, with no need to masquerade it as rice or pizza or potatoes. Roasting cauliflower brings out its sweet nuttiness, while raw cashews make an incredibly creamy dipping sauce without a drop of dairy. This is a great recipe to have on hand for a late night munchies attack! Or you could have an Asian inspired plant based dinner and serve this with Wild Mushroom Salad and Funky Spicy Green Beans.
Kick Start Our Month of Healthy Eating
In keeping with our plans to provide you with healthy options in January, today’s recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Cashew Sauce is vegan, low carb, and packed with fiber. Moreover, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable with cancer fighting properties, while the Creamy Cashew sauce is high in protein and super easy to make! Adding a little garlic, miso and mirin really jazzes it up.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Raw cashews are so versatile. When soaked in water, they soften and transform into super creamy sauces without any cream. Their mild flavor lets the other ingredients shine. First, soak them for at least two hours, so that they are really soft. Then, just blend them up with the miso, vegetable broth, mirin, and other seasonings. I used an immersion blender but a standard one will work just fine too.
And that’s it; you have a super versatile, creamy, plant based sauce that can hang out in the fridge for a couple days until you’re ready to use. If you manage to have any leftover, it’s a great dip for raw veggies or chips. You can also store extra in the freezer. Defrost it overnight in the fridge and give it a good stir before using.
How to Avoid Cauliflower Confetti
Once the sauce is ready, it’s time to prep the cauliflower. First, rinse it off and then cut in half and remove the core. Second, cut or break into bite size pieces. It’s important when cutting cauliflower into pieces, to cut at the base through the stem. If you cut it through the head, you will have a bunch of wasted cauliflower confetti scattered across your cutting board.
Roast At High Heat
Next arrange the florets on a baking sheet, lightly season with salt and pepper, and toss with the oil. As you can see, I try to minimize washing dishes by tossing the vegetables in the pan and not using an extra mixing bowl. Every dish counts when you don’t have a dishwasher on call! Plus, I like to use my hands, the best utensils you have, to make sure all the florets get coated with oil, so they crisp up nicely. Now they are ready for roasting.
True kitchen alchemy happens when you roast vegetables at high heat. Especially with cauliflower. The heat not only softens the vegetable, but it also caramelizes it, bringing out a world of delicious flavor. This technique is a great way to get kids and other finicky eaters to eat more vegetables-toss them with a little oil and seasoning and roast them. If you serve them with dipping sauce, you’ll get extra points!
Yes You Need Some Color
I like to get mine really brown, the crispy little bits are addictive! Even just seasoned with salt and pepper, I can’t help sneaking several bites before serving. If your oven doesn’t maintain a high steady heat, you might want to broil it for a few minutes if it’s soft enough to eat, but not really browning. Though as always with broiling, keep a close eye because it goes from perfect to charred in seconds.
When it’s tender and as brown as you’d like, serve it hot with the creamy cashew sauce, and dig in!
I hope you love this roasted cauliflower with creamy cashew sauce as much as I do. If you make it let us know! Leave a comment and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, show us the goods!
For the Cauliflower:
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons white or red miso
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon mirin (japanese cooking wine)
- 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
Make the Sauce:
- Put the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 2 hours.
- Drain the cashews and put them in a blender. Add the vegetable broth, miso, mirin, and the garlic.
- Blend on high until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
- Adjust the seasoning with a little salt if desired. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.*
Roast the Cauliflower:
- Preheat the oven to 425. Wash and cut the cauliflower in half.
- Cut the core out in an angle in a v shape. Use a knife to cut bite sized florets at the base. You can also break apart some of the larger florets with your hands. Make sure your florets are roughly the same size so they cook and brown evenly.
- Place the cauliflower on a baking tray and season with the salt and pepper. Add the oil and toss the cauliflower on the pan to coat evenly.
- Roast the cauliflower on the middle rack for 20 mins. Flip the pieces and continue cooking for another 5 mins. If your oven runs cool, you may want to broil the cauliflower for a few minutes at the end to get a bit more color.
- Your cauliflower should be tender, a little caramelized, and crispy on the edges. Serve hot with the sauce.
*If the sauce thickens you can add a couple tablespoons of broth or water to thin it out.
*I’ve stored extra sauce in the freezer with good success. Defrost in the fridge and stir before using.
Keywords: vegan, plant based, cauliflower, cashew sauce