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Roasted “Corned” Cauliflower

4 Servings

1 hour 25 minutes active, plus cooling and brining

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Corned beef, which makes an appearance on many St. Patrick’s Day tables, made us wonder how “corning,” or salt-curing, might be applied to cauliflower, and it led us to this interesting technique. We submerge a whole head of cauliflower in a spice-infused brine for several hours, allowing thorough absorption. After removing it and patting it dry, into the oven it goes. To finish, we slather the surface with mixture of butter and whole-grain mustard, coat it with dill and panko breadcrumbs, then roast some more until the surface is nicely browned. Every bit of the cauliflower ends up deliciously seasoned, and its meaty yet tender texture is complemented by the crispness of the breadcrumb crust. To ensure the brine reaches into the dense core, we use a paring knife to pierce into the stem end before dropping the head into the hot liquid. Cut into wedges for serving, the cauliflower makes a fine vegetarian main or side.




Don’t forget to cover the saucepan after adding the cauliflower and turning off the heat. The cover traps heat inside the pan, which begins to tenderize the vegetable, especially its dense core, for more even roasting.

1 hour

25 minutes active, plus cooling and brining


  • 4

    bay leaves

  • 2

    tablespoons coriander seeds


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Jon S.
March 25, 2024
Best Thing I've Made In Weeks
Absolutely melted in my mouth. As the recipe makes note of, thorough drying after draining seems essential. Good recipe for company, too!
Rhonda C.
March 21, 2024
This was so easy & delicious! My husband loved this. He normally does not eat cauliflower and asked for seconds! Will be making this again!
Janice H.
April 19, 2024
Sour, unpleasant taste, expensive spices
I was very excited when I found this recipe because I love corned beef. After spending too much money on spices, I followed the recipe exactly and did not like the results. Both my husband and I found the cauliflower to taste bitter and vinegary. I hate wasting food, but we tossed the entire head of cauliflower in the bin. Very disappointed!
Tammy C.
March 26, 2024
Great vegetarian option
So easy! This made for a delicious vegetarian Reuben. Both a traditional version and a spicer version made with kimchi and spicy Russian dressing. I will be making this often and plan on experimenting with different brine spice combinations as well as coatings. Plant based butter would be good too.