Simple Living Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower & Kale Pesto

More simply delicious. More simply easy.

How many things there are which I do not want.

~ Socrates

I definitely suspect know that I have a thing for vegetables. Most kids would travel to the big city (Toronto) to visit relatives and enjoy the spoiling that inevitably unfolds when in the company of doting extended family. Not this girl.

I can only imagine the shock and bewilderment when I arrived at my aunt’s house in Toronto (at the ripe old age of 12) – and upon being asked which of my favorite foods I would like to stock the house with, I promptly jotted down a list of my favorite vegetables. For steaming. It’s true.

Things really haven’t changed much.

Time is what we want the most, but what we use the worst.

~ William Penn

Always start with the freshest greens you can find.

If you’ve been reading IPOM for a while, then you might already be familiar with my favorite pesto of all time – the IPOM Killer Kale Pesto posted here .

It is insanely good either fully vegan or with added cheese, and it makes a wonderful addition to almost anything (including the delicious spelt pasta pictured here).

Case in point this recipe for roasted cauliflower.

Roasting cauliflower produces a taste and texture experience that is (IMO) out of this world, or rather ‘totally out of bounds’ as a few of my besties have been known to say (but not about cauliflower).

It is easy to cook, cauliflower is quite cheap, and guess what: it’s totally good for you too.

The years teach much the days never know.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Less:

Less fried or deep-fried foods means less troubling gas or potential indigestion. Less grain based or overly starchy side dishes mean more vegetables to compliment meals and make easy work of food combining. Less regular ways to prepare old ‘standbys’ means more variety to add to your tables, so even one or two ingredients tastes like a party on your tongue.

The More:

More ways to eat veggies more easy filling meals. More cruciferous greens and plant foods means more anti-cancer and disease fighting properties. More fiber, roughage, and water based foods means ‘using it and losing it’ is effortless. Because digestion needn’t ever be that taxing.

Roasted Cauliflower & Kale Pesto:

  • (1) large Cauliflower
  • (3-4) tbsp good olive oil (or a few good glugs – I learned that term here and love it)
  • a few pinches of salt
  • (1 – 2) tsp fried cumin seeds (optional)
  • (1) recipe Killer Kale Pesto

Start by heating your oven to an aggressive 400 degrees. This is by far the best roasting temperature and can be used to roast all veggies from sweet potatoes, to tomatoes to zucchini & eggplant.

While the oven heats, trim and wash your cauliflower. Remove any of the leaves that are still on and discard or compost. On a cutting board, turn the whole head of the cauliflower upside down and slice into ‘steaks’ just under an inch thick, starting from the base of the head. Cut them as thinly as you can while still having them hold together is the key here.

You should end up with several ‘steaks’ and a few other smaller pieces that will not hold together with the rest. It’s all good, and the strays will be just as delicious as the larger ones. Sometimes even more so.

Generously oil with the olive oil a flat baking tray and set the cauliflower pieces down on the oiled side. Once they are all on and oiled on one side, turn them over to ensure each side gets coated (just a little).

Sprinkle the pieces lightly with a little salt if desired and put up to roast. Cook for 20 minutes and then flip to the other side and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray before serving.

Before serving, feel free to sprinkle with fried cumin seeds and serve however you wish. This version with Kale Pesto was so amazing that I just had to share it with you all!

This kept also incredibly well and the leftovers made for a wonderful midday meal while I was out and about.

Serve warm or at room temperature alongside a green salad, a protein dish, or (my choice) on its own.

It is quite filling and the nuts & oil in the pesto provide more than adequate sustenance and calories to make a light & satisfying meal for most (just not my overly manly husband – bless his heart).

So whether you are old pals with cauliflower or just getting to know it, this is a most enjoyable (and completely delicious) way to serve it to even the most newbie vegetable eater.

Leftover kale pesto can find it’s way into the rest of your meals long after you devour this cauliflower. Or you can just make it again too!

And it’s so easy, there really is no good reason not to.*

*Unless there is.

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.

~ Eckhart Tolle

Who is rich?  He who rejoices in his portion.

~The Talmud

I hope whatever you do that you will do so with joy (as much as we can muster which at times is hard), and with gratitude and also with pleasure.

We don’t have long in this life but we do have right now.

I’ll be taking the weekend to visit some family with my youngest daughter before we run out of time this summer. Now that summer is finally here, it’s time to enjoy it while it lasts, and with that I am off yet again to visit the islands this time.

  • Have you always loved veggies?
  • What is your favorite way to eat cauliflower?
  • Did anyone enjoy the coconut quinoa this week?

Wishing you all a most fabulous weekend (thank you all for reading!) with whomever you choose to spend it with. Be it friends, family, or just yourself. Enjoy!

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Family, Food, Gluten Free, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

67 responses to “Simple Living Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower & Kale Pesto

  1. I haven’t made your killer kale pesto yet, Shira, but I made an entire head of kale into a salad last night with my favorite dressing of tahini, lemon, garlic, tamari and a little honey. This time I tossed in some toasted almonds and some dried cranberries. Yum!

    My favorite cauliflower recipe includes making a white sauce with gorgonzola and cumin seeds and then cooking the cauliflower in pasta water and eating it over noodles. I think it’s on the blog as Romanesco, which I also cook this way.

    • Wow – your salad sounds so wonderful! I am headed to the island where I am looking forward to the fresh produce from the local farms – my fave is just picked kale! Totally going to look up the Romanesco recipe that sounds divine! Cauliflower really pairs well with a lot!

  2. Shira you are so much a girl after my own heart. To my mind, vegetables are the bomb (as a few of my besties say, but not about vegetables.) I love roasted cauliflower, and your photos have me with a little more saliva than I can neatly keep in my mouth. And with that kale pesto! What a brilliantly beautiful combo this is! Another winner from Shira! xox

    • Spree, the feeling is mutual! I’ve yet to find anyone who photographs my favorite foods as beautifully as you. We revel is so many of the same simple things – so happy to share with you! xox

  3. Pingback: Simple Living Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower & Kale Pesto « Rod Schulhauser

  4. I love roasted cauliflower and adore kale so I will be trying your kale pesto. By the way, your coconut quinoa is to die for!

    • Fabulous! I’m happy to hear the quinoa was a hit! I’ve a feeling you’ll enjoy this combo too..especially if you are already a fan 🙂 thanks for the update!

      • Your kale pesto was aptly named as it is killer! I may never eat any other pesto again! I made a double batch so I have plenty and have tried it over portobello mushroom ravioli, roasted cauliflower, and the other day packed it in my backpack to use as a dip for raw veggies when we were hiking. Loved it all! I have your red lentil vegetable curry simmering on the stove right now. You have one giant fan here!

      • Fabulous! So wonderful to hear! How was the curry? 🙂

      • Simply delicious and the best part is that my husband is loving it all as well!

      • Now THAT is huge win! Great news!

  5. YUM!!! I’m really enjoying your kale pesto recipes! You and An Unrefined Vegan–I tell you, I just want to make everything you post!

    • Awesome Jennifer – that is so cool! I agree about Ann’s recipes too – so good! I’m so happy the recipes work out 🙂 have a great weekend!

  6. I love how many twists you have put on the traditional pesto, this looks absolutely beautiful my friend 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. I’ve never tried kale pesto but perhaps it’s time, eh? As for the cauliflower, roasting it is about the only way I enjoy it now. It’s just soo good with a bit of brown singe on it, a completely different taste. I bet these 2 make a great combo.

  8. Lovely recipe Shira 🙂 I have never actually made roasted cauliflower! I tend to stir fry it, or more recently, I’ve been loving it as a rice alternative!

    I have always loved vegetables too. I feel like I’ve told you this before, but my mom used to giev me frozen corn and peas to snack on and I loved them! I would also always request my grandmas red cabbage and eat broccoli like candy. Things haven’t changed much here either 🙂

  9. Hope your weekend is lovely too Shira! My favourite way to eat broccoli is roasted or steamed. I love it sprinkle with a little dill and lemon juice as well. Simple and fresh, just like your recipes 🙂

  10. madisoncary

    i think pesto is a close second to hummus when it comes to my love affair with yummy food items. 🙂

    growing up i remember filling out a questionnaire for some project in class, and very plainly written for my favorite food was cooked cauliflower with salt and pepper. simple as that. although, i think i definitely had an issue trying to spell it properly.

    happy weekend & safe travels!

  11. vivilinh

    this looks delicious!

  12. What a delicious recipe, Shira. You know how much I love simple living. I never really use cauliflower, but I’ve seen a couple of good recipe that use it today. I’m sure you can expect something very soon. Thanks for cementing my inspiration 😀

  13. Oh my that kale pesto sounds more and more delicious every time you post about it!

    We are starting to get a few bunches of kale in our CSA share each week and have been adding it to everything. Not enough quantity to make pesto, but we’ve put it in everything from veggie burger patties, mashed potatoes, to pasta salads and fresh veggie soups! Yum yum!

    • Sounds wonderful Hillery! I bet those CSA boxes are glorious! All you need is a wee cup of the green stuff for the pesto – you could even half the recipe! Loving your ideas…going to get to work! 😉 Hope you are well!

  14. I have always been a veggie girl too, though, my parents were not big vegetable eaters so we didn’t eat a huge variety of them in our house. It was always such a treat to eat at a friend’s house and be able to actually have a salad with dinner or be able to have seconds of freshly cooked vegetables.

    My favorite way to cook cauliflower is to roast it, so this looks WONDERFUL to me! I love the addition of the fried cumin seeds too!

    I hope you’re having a fun weekend visiting family! Travel safely! 🙂

    • Thanks Kristy – I had a great weekend away – eating fresh veggies too! 😉
      I am a tad obsessed with the cumin seeds if you can’t tell yet…
      Hope you had a great weekend!

  15. This is my favorite recipe of yours so far!

  16. This looks so delicious Shira! It’s dinnertime, i am so hungry, and wish I had this to eat!! Enjoy the weekend!

  17. You know how much I love your kale pesto, Shira – but this looks like the best combo! I roast broccoli all the time (it’s our go to vegetable down here), but I have never roasted cauli’. We usually have it mashed. I shall have to give this a go – it looks wonderful. Bet it tastes even better.

    LM and I had the coconut quinoa porridge (with coconut, banana, medjool dates and a drizzle of organic maple syrup) this morning after our walk through the park… YUMMO! Cheers to you, my friend!

    • Oh J! Just getting caught up – you know you are the one who reminds me I must make the pesto more often – and it is TDF with out cheese too! Soooo good on the cauli – a meal!
      Happy you enjoyed the quinoa too! Isn’t it a nice treat? And the maple syrup – genius! 🙂

  18. 106alleyways

    It looks so beautiful and I bet it tastes it even more so!

  19. yay! happy summer! it’s somewhat on pause for me, but it’s not over yet! hehe! i must have missed the coconut quinoa post [oops!]…i’ll check it out! 🙂 have a good one!

  20. S.

    Kale Pesto… beautiful!

  21. Urrr…I still need to make your pesto!! On the to-do list…i need to make it and then take it with some bread and a bottle of wine for a picnic at the park 🙂

  22. Oh Shira, what a gorgeous dish! Nothing beats roasted cauliflower with pesto — the flavor combination is out of this world! I hope you’re week is off to a good start!

  23. we eat so much cauli in indian sabjis, that i miss the roasted version some days. Your looks so beautifully done! we grew up eating a lot of veggies, beans and legumes. got side tracked into eating meat when we moves to the US, not back to the good old ways!

    • Sabjis Richa, YUM! Of course, cauli is the perfect vegetable for Indian dishes 🙂 Along with all the other beans and legumes – lucky you to have grown up with such healthy abundance, that must be where you get a lot of your amazing talents (other than just being amazing!)!

  24. freelanceallison

    I am just getting into enjoying how wonderfully tasty Kale is so I am very excited to try this pesto – thanks for sharing it!! Cauliflower and kale – this will be a winning combo in our home for sure! 🙂

  25. Reblogged this on Fancy Nancy says…. and commented:
    Simply delicious and healthy.

  26. Since I can remember i could never get enough of fruits and veggies, my Dad (still to this day) has a huge veggie garden and I definitiely inherited his love of gardening and all things green! I love cauliflower mash and cream of cauliflower soup – and of course roasted!

    • Heather – you are so lucky to have grown up with a Dad gardener! So awesome that he still does it too, my mom took some of the work for my dad in theirs, but it is still a joint effort and the results are amazing! Love cauliflower mash – how you do you do yours? 🙂

      • I love my cauliflower mash simple: white pepper, vegan butter, almond milk and good flaky salt- I steam mine until fork tender and then more smash than mash – both my sister and i love it this way, Justin he is more a straight up mashed potato kind of guy 🙂

      • Sounds incredible! I might just have to try this when the weather cools down, it sounds right up my alley (actually I adore steamed veggie ‘baby food’ in most any combo, it’s weird but true) – my hubby is the same as yours – loves the classics!

  27. Pingback: Creamy Cauliflower and Potato Soup « Juicy Bites

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