Roasted Cauliflower with Cilantro Cashew Pesto is a quick, delicious, and keto crave-able side dish perfect for cookouts, picnics, and dinner parties!
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Cilantro Cashew Pesto Cauliflower
I don't love cauliflower. That's a bit of a weird way to start off a post about a cauliflower recipe, no? It's true though - while its heathy, I just don't love cauliflower. I don't love the way it smells, or how it can taste bitter. But this Roasted Cauliflower with Cilantro Cashew Pesto recipe changes ALL of that.
Not only is this recipe for Cilantro Cashew pesto that my mom put her own twist on amazing (I can literally just eat it straight from the bowl) - but it makes cauliflower taste more buttery, rich, and creamy than you'd ever imagine. It is so delicious- you won't be able to get enough!
This dish is so rich and comforting, and full of fresh flavors. I know you will love it as much as I do!
How to Make Roast Cauliflower and Cashew Pesto
To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- Cauliflower: This forms the base of the dish, providing a hearty, satisfying texture. When roasted, cauliflower caramelizes and takes on a nutty flavor that adds depth to the overall taste.
- Cashews: Raw unsalted cashews are the main ingredient in the pesto, providing creaminess and a smooth, buttery flavor. They are a healthier alternative to traditional pesto ingredients and offer a subtle nuttiness to the dish.
- Cilantro: This herb contributes a fresh, citrusy note to the pesto. Its unique taste provides a contrast to the richness of the cashews and cheese.
- Garlic: Grated garlic adds a pungent, aromatic depth to the pesto, enhancing the flavor profile of the dish.
- Lime Zest: The zest of lime imparts a bright, citrusy tang to the pesto, balancing the richer ingredients and adding an invigorating freshness.
- Serrano Chile: This adds a bit of heat to the dish, giving a nice counterbalance to the creamy and rich flavors. It adds an exciting twist to the dish.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil acts as a binder for the pesto, creating a smooth consistency. It also adds a fruity, earthy flavor and helps the cauliflower roast to perfection.
- Cotija Cheese: A crumbly Mexican cheese, it contributes a salty, tangy note to the pesto. It's also used as a topping to give the dish a pleasant contrasting texture and an extra layer of flavor.
Once you've gathered your ingredients, we will use the following method:
Tips and Tricks to Perfect Cashew Pesto Roasted Cauliflower
Great for leftovers: This side dish is also great a few days later - it tastes even more delicious as leftovers a day or two after you make it - which makes it a perfect lunch side when you're on the go!
Cauliflower Size: Cut the cauliflower into small, evenly sized pieces to ensure they roast uniformly. Larger pieces might be undercooked, while smaller pieces can get burnt.
Pre-Heating the Oven: Make sure your oven is properly preheated before you put the cauliflower in. This helps to achieve a caramelized, crispy exterior.
Spacing: Don't overcrowd the cauliflower on the baking sheet. Give each piece space to roast properly; otherwise, they may steam instead of roast, which can result in softer cauliflower without the desirable crispy edges.
Roasting Time: Keep an eye on the roasting time. The goal is to roast until the edges are crispy and slightly browned. If they're browning too quickly, you may need to reduce the oven temperature slightly.
Nut Toasting: Toast the cashews slightly before using them in the pesto. This step isn't necessary, but it can help bring out the nut's natural oils and deepen their flavor.
Pesto Consistency: When blending the pesto, add the olive oil gradually until you reach the desired consistency. It should be smooth but still have a bit of texture. If you want a thinner pesto, feel free to add a bit more oil.
Cheese: Add cotija cheese to the pesto in small increments to avoid overwhelming the other flavors. Additionally, reserve some cheese to sprinkle on top of the finished dish.
Seasoning: Don't forget to taste and adjust the seasoning. Lime juice, salt, and pepper can be added at the end to brighten up the flavors and balance out the richness of the cashews and cheese.
Freshness: Serve the dish immediately after preparation to enjoy the full range of textures, from the crispy roasted cauliflower to the creamy pesto.
Experimentation: Feel free to experiment with the pesto. You can swap out cilantro for parsley, add different types of nuts, or add other spices for a different flavor profile.
Yes, you can make the cashew pesto up to a few days in advance. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it.
Absolutely, although cashews give the pesto a unique, creamy texture, you can substitute them with almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts if you prefer.
Yes, if you can't find Cotija cheese, you can use Feta as a substitute. It has a similar texture and tangy flavor.
Of course! You can substitute parsley or basil for the cilantro in the pesto. Each will give a slightly different flavor, but both are delicious options.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. For the best texture, reheat the cauliflower in the oven or in a pan rather than in the microwave.
Yes, to make this dish vegan, substitute the Cotija cheese with a vegan cheese or nutritional yeast. Be sure to check other ingredients to ensure they meet your specific dietary needs.
Yes, you can use frozen cauliflower, but it might not become as crispy when roasted. Allow it to thaw completely and pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible before roasting.
What to Serve With Roasted Cauliflower With Cashew Pesto
Grilled or Roasted Proteins: Since the cauliflower with cashew pesto is a hearty and flavorful side dish, it would pair well with a simple grilled or roasted protein. This could be something like grilled chicken, a garlic butter roasted salmon, or a simple pan fried steak.
Salads: A fresh salad would complement the rich flavors of the cauliflower and pesto. A simple Greek salad, an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette, or a tomato and cucumber salad could provide a refreshing contrast.
Grain Dishes: A simple grain dish like quinoa pilaf, couscous, or a wild rice blend would also pair well, providing a neutral counterpoint to the robust flavors of the cauliflower and pesto.
Pasta: A simple pasta dish, such as spaghetti aglio e olio (garlic and oil) or cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), would be a great match. The pesto could even be used as a sauce for the pasta.
Bread: A crusty bread or garlic bread like no knead bread could be used to scoop up any leftover pesto and would provide a satisfying textural contrast.
Roasted Cauliflower with Cilantro Cashew Pesto Recipe
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Roasted Cauliflower with Cilantro Cashew Pesto is a quick, delicious, and completely crave-able side dish perfect for cookouts, picnics, and dinner parties! Buttery rich roasted cauliflower with bright, cheesy, salty pesto sauce from cashews and cilantro for a fresh summer side dish that is low carb, gluten free, and completely addictive!
- 1 head cauliflower, broken into small pieces
- ¼ cup cashews, unsalted raw
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves, bunch
- 3 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane-style grater
- Zest of ½ lime
- ½ teaspoon seeded and finely chopped serrano chile
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup cotija cheese, plus ½ cup for topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add cauliflower to baking sheet and roast at 350, turning occasionally, until soft and slightly browned- about 25 minutes.
- Add all other ingredients except ½ cup cotija for topping into a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy.
- When cauliflower is roasted, place in bowl and top with pesto sauce, and remaining ¼ cup cotija cheese.
- Serve immediately.
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Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper Roll, 60 Square Feet
JOHO BAKING Non-Stick Cookie Sheets,Baking Sheets for oven,Nonstick Bakeware Set Baking Pans,13inch,2-Piece,Champagne Gold
Ninja BN601 Professional Plus Food Processor, 1000 Peak Watts, 4 Functions for Chopping, Slicing, Purees & Dough with 9-Cup Processor Bowl, 3 Blades, Food Chute & Pusher, Silver
Amount Per Serving Calories 258Total Fat 24gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 18gCholesterol 10mgSodium 159mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 3gSugar 3gProtein 5g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.