Food Eyeswoon Kitchen:

Roasted Cauliflower get’s Spicy!

Athena Calderone

I happen to be fortunate to have a child who eat his veggies – but let me tell ya, coaxing and convincing a kid to take that first bite is no easy feat. It starts with the convincing…which often involves some extreme bribing, just to get them to take the most miniscule nibble (if you’re lucky enough to succeed) and then comes the coaxing to try a just a little more. And it can seem like a rare occasion when they say, “that’s actually good!” and take a second bite. As you might be able to tell, I’ve gone through this ritual enough times to know the drill.

However, I have learned that there is one particular vegetable that my child, and honestly all of his friends, will eat like candy. The all-consuming roasted cauliflower. Roasting it makes the meaty flesh caramelize into golden perfection, infusing a nutty flavor that teeters on the fine line between savory satisfaction and sweet goodness. Jivan has eaten roasted cauliflower roughly 2-3x a week since he was three years old! In the process I’ve even been able to make a believer out of a few other children, if I may say so myself.

Over the years I’ve started to experiment with adding flavors to brighten the dish and spice things up. Why not? The truth is, Jivan prefers the tried and true classic, the Evvo sea salt and pepper Calderone house special, but he will not reject some parsley here and there. Recently I turned it up a notch, playing with spicy, briny, herbaceous and citrus flavors all at once to create a parsley, lemon zest, chopped caper and jalapeno mixture for my roasting flourettes. Just chop and toss before the golden nuggets come hot out of the oven. And voila, you’ve got the adult version of child-friendly cauliflower candy. Now if only you can get your little one to try just one bite….

Photography by Athena Calderone

Roasted Cauliflower with parsley, lemon, jalapeño & capers

Athena Calderone


1 head of Cauliflower

1 Lemon

Fresh Italian parsley

2 teaspoons Capers

1 Jalapeño

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper


Preheat oven to 425°.

Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets; toss on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with approx 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Roast, tossing occasionally, until golden approx 30-40 minutes.

As florets are roasting roughly chop 1 cup parsley, 2 teaspoons of capers, and thin slices of jalepeno. Peel 2 strips of zest from a lemon and slice into paper thin sections. For ease, you can also zest lemon with a microplane. Combine above elements together in a bowl.

Toss to combine parsley mixture with cauliflower. Season with Maldon sea salt and fresh cracked pepper if necessary

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