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The Best Way to Cook Cauliflower

By Cook's Illustrated Published September 2008

Here's how to build flavor in cauliflower with a minimum of work.

Shopping Notes

Buy heads of cauliflower with tight, firm florets without any discoloration.


Trim leaves and stem, then cut into large wedges.

Basic Cooking Method

Roasting avoids the sulfurous smell that sometimes results when cauliflower is boiled or steamed. Toss wedges from 1 head cauliflower with 4 tablespoons olive oil and roast on foil-line baking sheet in 475-degree oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Cover pan with foil for first 10 minutes of cooking time to ensure that cauliflower cooks through. Also, place baking sheet on bottom oven rack to maximize browning. Flip wedges once bottom has browned nicely (after about 20 minutes).

1. Pull off outer leaves and cut stem flush.

2. Cut head into 8 equal wedges so that core and florets remain intact.