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A tasty cauliflower dish

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The key to well-roasted cauliflower, with frizzled edges and sweet and tender middles, is to cook it at a high heat on a rack near the heat source, mostly on one side. You could stop there or, toward the end of cooking, shower it with grated Parmesan to crisp and add a salty boost. Follow the instructions in Step 1 to cut the cauliflower through the stem to create lots of flat sides, which yields more surface area for browning and cheese — in other words, more of the good stuff.

Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Parmesan


• 1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)

• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

• 1 1/2 ounces/3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan


Arrange a rack at the bottom of the oven and heat to 450 degrees. With the stalk end facing up, slice the cauliflower in half through the stalk, then when your knife reaches florets, pull the pieces apart. (Pulling instead of cutting through the florets will prevent little buds from falling off.) Continue to slice through the stalks and pull apart florets until pieces are no thicker than 1 inch.

On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower pieces with the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer, cut sides down. Roast, undisturbed, on the bottom rack until golden brown on the underside, 15 to 20 minutes. (Check pieces in the middle of the pan, because pieces at the edges brown faster.)

Flip the cauliflower, sprinkle with the Parmesan, then roast until the cauliflower is tender and the Parmesan is melted and golden in spots, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool a few minutes for the Parmesan to crisp. Use a spatula to transfer the cauliflower and any cheese on the sheet pan to plates.

Total time: 45 minutes, serves 4.

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