Thursday, March 08, 2007

Roasted Spicy Cauliflower

If you read food blogs very much, you can find lots of recipes for Roasted Cauliflower. In my own recipe archives I have Alanna's Roasted Cauliflower, a recipe that turned out to be the very first post my friend Alanna made on A Veggie Venture. There seems to be pretty universal agreement that roasting is a great way to cook cauliflower, so when I saw this recipe for Roasted Spicy Cauliflower in The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook, I had to try it. The recipe called for red pepper flakes, and although I had a few different types in my pantry, I knew just what I wanted to use.

I was thrilled when Burcu from Almost Turkish Recipes sent me some red pepper flakes as a gift, and after my red pepper arrived in the mail, I put it in a jar, so this is just what it looks like. (It's Burcu's photo from A Menu for Hope when she offered the red pepper flakes as part of her prize.) Burcu describes this as Turkish flaked hot red pepper and says "You can use this semi moist, delicious smelling, hot, flaked red pepper while cooking or sprinkle it on your foods." This stuff is seriously addicting.

I thought since Burcu is a frequent participant in Weekend Herb Blogging, it would be fun to write about her red pepper flakes for this event, hosted by newlywed Anna from Morsels and Musings this week. I found an online source on Turkish food which told me that it was Aleppo Pepper or "pul biber" and described it much as Burcu did, as "semi moist, hot, flaked red pepper." If you eat in middle eastern restaurants, this will often be sprinkled on hummus or kabobs.

I've tasted lots of hot paprikas or other hot ground red peppers, but this has a smell and flavor that's unique and wonderful. Burcu referred me to a site that says it's the sweating process that gives the red pepper its unique flavor. Some references compared the flavor to Ancho Peppers, but personally I think it's quite distinctive. Aleppo Pepper is available at Penzeys, and at another online source I also found it, where it's referred to as Kirmizi Biber. I'm not affiliated with those places, and I don't care where you find it, but I recommend you get some of this and try it!

Roasted Spicy Cauliflower
(About 4 servings, recipe from The South Beach Diet Quick and Easy Cookbook; I actually made it just as the recipe is written.)

1 large head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (I used Aleppo pepper)
pinch salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. Placed cut up cauliflower, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper into mixing bowl and stir well to combine and coat cauliflower with oil and red pepper. Arrange in single layer on heavy baking sheet or baking dish. Roast until softened and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. (I cooked mine almost exactly 30 minutes in a convection oven.) Serve hot.

South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, serve with something like Janet's Mustard Chicken. For phase two or three, add something like Brown and Wild Rice with Pine Nuts and Thyme.
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  1. Looks delicious Kalyn!!Throw in some cumin pd in there to make it even more flavorful!:))

  2. I've roasted cauliflower but never with red pepper! It looks delicious - such lovely color. Now, If I can only find the red pepper.....
    And I loved 'Janet's Mustard Chicken'

  3. I'll have to head over to Penzey's at lunch and see if they have this pepper. Never had it but I'm always up for new spicy flavors!

  4. Kalyn, I'm gald you like the pepper. I'll be back in Turkey this August and will absolutely bring you more, so no need to use them sparingly.
    Back in Turkey I had no idea how special pepper flakes were until I came here and could not find the same flavor. This site ( says it's the sweating process that gives isot pepper its unique flavor. Whatever it is, I love it. Thanks for writing about it!

  5. I almost forgot; i loved baked cauliflower recipe. Definitely try with red pepper.

  6. Yes! I love Cauliflower and am always on the look out for new and interesting recipes. Great one Kalyn.

  7. Asha, I bet cumin would be good on this. Will try it!

    Katie, I think Penzeys will mail anywhere in the world if you want to get some there. It might not be quite a great as what Burcu sent me, but there stuff is pretty good quality. Glad to hear you liked the chicken.

    HT (aka Lisa) You are soooo lucky to work close to Penzeys.

    Burcu, thanks for the offer to keep replenishing my supply. I do agree that it's very special. I just love it. When I get home I'm going to edit and add the link you gave me, Thanks!

    Meeta, I really loved it.

  8. Hi Kalyn -
    I got my Aleppo from Penzeys, and it's my new favorite pepper. It's especially good on seared ahi. I usually roast my cauliflower with garlic and then toss with parsley and parmesan, I'll have to try it with the Aleppo.

  9. Great looking recipe. I am always struggling to find new ways to add veggies to dinner. Cauliflower was never a nature go to veggie but the color looks great!

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  11. Looks fab! It is so weird because I have been seeing a bunch cauliflower recipes lately - all of a sudden! (I think I missed the memo and will run out to buy a head immediately.) It is just so yummy - Thanks for this recipe!

  12. Vicki, I *love* the idea of using this pepper on Tuna. Will try it for sure.

    Bradley, try it. This was great.

    Deleted commenter: Sorry but I can't allow people to leave links in my comments advertising other blogs or blog events. Once I do, I will be over-run with those type of comments.

    Chris, get some cauliflower ASAP!

  13. I've roasted cauliflower with salt and pepper, and really loved it. Time to spice it up a little:)

  14. very interesting post Kalyn! I can't tell the differences between different red peppers ... my taste buds waving white flag... but your/Burcus discription brought me back some good memery when I dined at a Turkish restaurant :)

  15. I think I've found a local store that carries the Aleppo Pepper today!

  16. We made the cauliflower recipe tonight, it was awesome! I was sorry that I only made half the head (as we were eating salad and chicken as well). I could easily sit and eat the whole dish. It was phenomenal, it will be going on my favorites list.

  17. I love roasted veggies, but I never roast cauliflower. This recipe will give me an excuse to try it. Thanks.

  18. Pille, the bit of spiciness is great in this!

    Gattina, I'm betting the red pepper at the Turkish restaurant was the same as this.

    Tanna, great. You'll love it.

    Jennifer, thanks for the feedback. I'm so glad you like it.

    Chigiy, I just adore roasted cauliflower in any form. This is just a great variation.

  19. Kalyn - Yes, try Aleppo on tuna. I've done just Aleppo and salt, and I've also marinated with soy, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, etc and then sprinkled with Aleppo and sesame seeds before cooking. I've also added Aleppo to my falafel with great results. I think maybe I need to start my own blog to expound on this beautiful pepper.

  20. Hey, Kalyn, you'll never believe that I remembered this fabulous recipe from lo these many years ago because it was SO GOOD and I've lost my copy. I'm thrilled to find it here again. This one deserves an honorable mention on your front page to acquaint all your newer readers with its delicious healthy wonderfulness.

    Hope 2010 is treating you well!


  21. Hi Pat,
    Fun hearing from you after all this time! Hope you're doing well.


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