Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower, Manchurian Style

by Cate on October 12, 2011

Mark Bittman recipe
Sometimes when I sit down to write, I know exactly what the topic will be.  Other times, I don’t.  I want to write about something that moves me.  Whether it be food, the kids, divorce, parenting, what have you.  Because, to me, that is the truest way to remain authentic.  I never want to come here and write something for you that is forced.  Over the past couple of years, you may have noticed, I haven’t always talked about food.  Because, to me, there is so much more going on.  You’re more than that.  And so am I.  So if it’s a day when it’s about cute things the kids have done, a memory card dump from my camera, or dating after divorce, it’s because that’s what has moved me.  To remain true to myself, it’s just not always going to be about food.  But today?  I was planning on just putting up a photo, submitting a link to Wordless Wednesday, and calling it a night.  But then I made a new recipe tonight.  And that’s what moved me.  And, like, way more than last night’s “here’s some healthy food” recipe.

Tonight’s recipe is, actually, healthy too, but in a completely different way.  When it comes to roasting and simmering ingredients, it’s all about making those ingredients sing.  To bring out the most flavor impact possible.  And this recipe completely and utterly delivers.  And it actually wasn’t even part of tonight’s dinner.  I am, surprisingly, one meal ahead, since this is our side dish for tomorrow, and the main course is already marinating in a tub of buttermilk.  Some days, I am a little more organized.  Some days, I am most decidedly not.

While we were eating dinner, I had the cauliflower roasting in the oven.  With the kids clearing the table, I got to work on the sauce, which took about 20 minutes (only 5 minutes of hands on time).  As I was making the sauce, I was looking at it, quite skeptical.  After the fifteen minutes of simmering was up, I mixed it with the cauliflower and snuck a bite.  The flavors deepened and intensified and just made a puddle of liquid awesome.  It’s stupid simple to make.  Good for you.  Using readily available ingredients.  You may even have the ingredients on hand.  Make it.  ‘Nuff said.

And the source?  The recipe is originally from Mark Bittman (see accompanying cookbook here), but I actually found it on Pinterest via the Nourish Me blog.  Have you not caught the Pinterest bug yet?  You are seriously missing out.  Need more inspiration?  I have tons of Pinterest boards, but I bet you can find your next dinner recipe on my Food to Make board

October 12, 2011 – Bonus Photo
Minding His Manners

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower, Manchurian Style

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

This recipe is originally from Mark Bittman, which I found on Pinterest via the Nourish Me blog.


  • 1 good cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g (15 oz) tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Glug of red wine vinegar
  • Glug of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 or 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 3 fat cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Good pinch of chilli powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F). Core, trim and break the cauliflower into florets of even-ish size. Arrange in a single layer in a baking dish. Toss with 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and loads of pepper and roast, turning twice, for 30 minutes.
  2. Fry the onion in a little oil until soft. Add the tomatoes, juice and all, followed by a glug of each vinegar, the sugar and some salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, until reduced to about a cup. Puree if you like, but I wouldn't bother.
  3. 5 minutes before the cauliflower is ready, heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook for a minute or two - don't let it burn. Pour in the tomato sauce and cook, stirring often, for a few minutes. Add the chilli powder to taste and, when ready, tip the cauliflower florets into the pan. Toss over and over, making sure they are well coated in the sauce. Eat hot.

Pin It

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire October 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm

Um, this sounds GREAT! Love cauliflower…and love the flavors in the sauce. You have one proper dog on your hands. :-)


Joanne October 13, 2011 at 5:24 am

Everyone keeps telling me I need to find a new hobby now that I can’t go to the gym…maybe Pinterest will/should be it?

I love love love cauliflower! Definitely would have passed this recipe by but now I can’t wait to try it!


Patsy October 13, 2011 at 8:13 am

Ooohhhhh…. I love the flavor combo that goes into that cauliflower! Roasting is my favorite way to prepare it, and this sauce must really take it to the next level of deliciousness! Yum!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: