Get free recipes + tips, plus my complimentary Herb Guide

Yes! I Want This

Dirty Cauliflower (Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs)

Dirty Cauliflower (Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs)
 Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post


Here, this Dirty Cauliflower (Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs) is simply roasted until tender and browned then tossed with a lusciously crisp “dirt” of garlicky browned breadcrumbs. The taste of freshly toasted breadcrumbs is well worth the small effort it takes to make them, but if you want to skip that step you could substitute a half cup of whole-wheat or regular panko. The toasted breadcrumbs can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.


Dirty Cauliflower (Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs)



1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1 1/2  inch florets
4 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon salt
1 ½ slices whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed, or 1/2 cup whole-wheat or regular panko breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the cauliflower onto a sheet pan and drizzle it with 2 tablespoons of the oil and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Toss to combine. Roast until the cauliflower is tender and browned for about 35 minutes, stirring at about the mid-way point.

If using fresh bread for the breadcrumbs, place the bread in a mini-food processor; pulse until it is reduced to crumbs. Spread them on a a baking sheet. Bake, tossing once or twice, until the crumbs are crisped and light golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Allow the crumbs to cool on the baking sheet; this will yield about ½ cup.  

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the garlic and cook for 20 to 30 seconds, then stir in the fresh bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs and cook for about a minute, until they are well coated, fragrant and further browned. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Toss the seasoned bread crumbs with the cauliflower just before serving.


Makes 6 Servings

Serving size: about 3/4 cup


Per serving: 140 calories, 4 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 230 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar

Print or Share this Recipe/Article: