Cauliflower Roasted with Crunchy Parmesan Leeks

Preparation time
15 mins
Cooking time
45 mins
4 people
Meal course
Posted by
Posted on
1 large
1 medium
2 tbsp
Olive oil
1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup
1/2 tsp
Cauliflower Roasted with Crunchy Parmesan Leeks

This simple recipe coaxes a delicious combination of flavors and textures from common white cauliflower florets, leek slices, and grated parmesan.

Cauliflower is naturally a cool season crop, but due to modern farming techniques it’s now available year round. Its flavor is said to be at its best while in season. Here in Southern California the season goes from December through March. When cooked using this recipe I personally cannot notice any difference in the flavor when it’s in season, or when it’s not in season. I probably would be able to notice a difference in its flavor if I was eating it raw though.

I like to use cauliflower as a lower calorie substitute for side dishes like rice or potatoes. When cooked it has a similar mouth feel without most of the calories and none of the starch. I actually prefer a low carbohydrates dish like this to something like scalloped potatoes.

To clean cauliflower remove the outer leaves and cut away the thick stalks. This recipe only uses  the florets. Make sure to cut them into similar sizes so that they cook evenly.

A little tip about slicing leeks. Leek slices have a tendency to fall apart, due to the layered structure of the leek. When you’re tossing them with the olive oil and seasoning be gentle with them. You want to transfer them to the baking sheet and roast them intact. That way when you top them with the grated parmesan a crispy crust will form on top and hold the leek together. These are delicious little bites of crunchy goodness which contrast nicely with the light and creamy roasted cauliflower.

Equipment you need:

  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Baking sheet – rimmed
  • Bowl – large heat resistant
  • Large spoon
  • Spatula to scrape crunchy bits from baking sheet
  1. Preheat oven to 425 f (218 c). Cut head of cauliflower into florets. Cut leek into 1/4 inch slices. Transfer to bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer contents of bowl to cooking sheet.
  2. Roast at 425 f (218 c) for 30 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle cauliflower florets and leek slices with cheese and thyme. Some cheese will spill onto the baking sheet. That's a good thing that will make crunchy cheese bits. Roast at 425 f (218 c) for 15 minutes.
  4. Scrape up all contents from rimmed baking sheet and transfer to heat resistant bowl. Make sure to scrape up all those crunchy brown bits of cheese. Lightly toss with chopped parsley and serve immediately.


  1. wendy said on December 31, 2015

    Do you think regular onions would work for this recipe? I’ve never tried leeks and don’t know if I like them or not.

  2. cheryl said on December 31, 2015

    I have never tried this recipe with regular onions. If you do try it please let me know how it works out. If you like cooked onions then you will probably like leeks too. They have a mild flavor and work perfectly with the browned parmesan. They turn into crunchy little bites of deliciousness.

  3. ai undress said on January 17, 2024

    wow, awesome article.Really thank you!

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