Roasting cauliflower is awesome, and not just because it tastes great, but because it turns a pile of highly vegetable cauliflower into a plate of salty, crispy snacks. Usually the only available snacky cauliflower is that pile of raw, too-huge clusters you find in a big plate of vegetables with french onion dip. These roasted dudes are totally different, which is fortunate, since everyone eats around the cauliflower on those spreads. So I guess this is the ultimate way to use up the lingering waste of a plate of maligned crudites.
a head/leftover chunks of cauliflower
First, preheat the oven to about 425F. For this to work, your oven needs to be hot.
Chop a head of cauliflower into small florets; mine were a little bigger in diameter than a quarter. Smaller pieces mean more delicious crusty crunchy bits, plus a shorter cooking time, so it's worth it to chop more. Make sure all your pieces are roughly the same size.
Toss the cauliflower with a slug of olive oil, plus lots of pepper and a couple pinches of salt. Spread the pieces out on a cookie sheet or in a casserole dish. Make sure they're all in one layer.
Stick the pan into the hot oven. Roast for about ten or twelve minutes, shaking the pan to stir up the cauliflower occasionally.
While the cauliflower is cooking, think about garlic. If you like garlic, smash and peel a handful of cloves. Strew them over the cauliflower about halfway through cooking, so the garlic gets about five minutes in the oven. The pieces will cook down quickly and become magical tangy bits that get good and stuck in your back molars. If you don't like garlic, just cook the cauliflower alone.
When the cauliflower bits are golden and have developed lots of dark brown crunchy bits, take them out of the oven and let them cool a little.
Eat them all with your fingers.
I guess you can also eat them with dinner if you really want to.