With the help of just four basic ingredients, transform the humble and delicious cauliflower into a sweet and spicy roasted side dish that everyone will love!
Do you remember when cauliflower was about ten dollars a head last summer? Or was that the summer before? I can’t remember which, but I can remember having a mini heart attack when I saw the price tag.
Luckily for us lovers of cauliflower, the price has returned to normal. We can once again enjoy meals with this miracle vegetable. Yes, that’s right! Well, it’s either a miracle vegetable or it’s a wizard!
I’m serious, Dear Reader. It seems you can do just about anything with cauliflower. And, I’m a fan of all of them! I have yet to try the cauliflower pizza crust. But, I have tried cauliflower bites, pate, and this yummy cashew cauliflower!
As previously mentioned in the introduction, this cauliflower dish uses very basic ingredients. The result is a fork-tender, sweet and spicy vegetarian side. You’re going to love this!
Maple Syrup or “Maple Syrup?”
I love the flavour of maple syrup, but I don’t like the real stuff. In fact, the more expensive the bottle, the more I dislike it. Blame it on my childhood, if you will. I was not raised on riches by no means. So, maple syrup for me came in the form of a plastic bottle with a depiction of a older, black nanny as a part of the logo.
Yes, Dear Reader, the Aunt Jemima brand is my go-to brand of maple syrup. And, if it’s the butter flavour, even the more better! Even though our home is divided in terms of which is best, I always opt for real maple syrup when cooking or baking.
I have not tried this dish with imitation syrups, so I cannot tell you if it will work or not. Although, I would worry that the processed sugars in the imitation syrup would burn whereas the natural syrup will not.
Since you only need 1/4 cup, buy a very small jar of the real maple syrup. You should be able to find a small jar for less than five dollars. I bought this 4-pack from Trader Joe’s for John.e for ten dollars!
There’s a 1000 Chili Sauces to choose from; Which on is Best?
We love chili sauce too and I do buy a few different brands. One of my favourite brands is this Chili Garlic Sauce, but it’s a bit too spicy for all of us. I typically use a Thai Sweet Chili Sauce if I intend to serve spicy food to anyone else.
It’s best to err on the side of less spicy just in case, you know? If I go the sweet route, I’ll always add a few dried red chili flakes if I want the extra heat for myself.
For this particular recipe, the thicker the sauce, the better the results. Meaning that the sauce will stick to the cauliflower better. Keep in mind that cauliflower has a lot of moisture content. This moisture will be released during the roasting time.
By using a thicker sauce, one with sugar content, the thicker sauce will stick to the cauliflower and help to give the cauliflower that braised look. But, don’t worry if it doesn’t! Once you plate the Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cauliflower, you can scoop the sauce from the pan right over top!
Sweet and Spicy Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 large cauliflower, sliced 1 inch thick and broken into 2-3 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, chili sauce, and soy sauce until well combined.
- Use pastry brush to liberally coat each side of the sliced cauliflower with the sauce mixture.
- Place cauliflower flat on the parchment-lined baking sheet. If you have sauce left, pour it over the cauliflower.
- Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and baste the cauliflower with sauce drippings from the baking sheet.
- Return to oven and broil for 3-5 minutes.
- Garnish and serve immediately.