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Roasted Cauliflower with Annatto Seeds

Roasted Cauliflower with Annatto Seed oil is every bit as delicious as it is pretty. All of the natural sugars in the vegetable come out as it slowly roasts, caramelizing it to perfection. And the annatto seed oil colors it beautifully, making it even more pleasing to the eye.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword unique vegan sides, vegan side dishes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 389 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


  • 1 tablespoon annatto seeds (optional but suggested)
  • cup olive oil
  • pounds cauliflower
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F. (Yes, you read that right. The very high heat is crucial in making this so delicious.)  Cover a baking sheet with foil and set it aside.

  2. In a small saucepan, gently simmer the annatto seeds with the oil for about 4 minutes.  The oil will become a deep golden, reddish color.  The longer it sits, the darker it will become.  When you're satisfied with the color, strain the oil into a jar, and discard the seeds.

  3. Trim the greens and the root off of the cauliflower and cut it into approx. 1/2-inch slices.  You won't have perfect slices, because many of the flowerets will break into pieces. Pour about half of the annatto seed oil on the foil-lined baking sheet and place the cauliflower on top.  Drizzle with the remainder of the annatto seed oil and season generously with the salt and pepper.

  4. Roast in the preheated oven until the underside of the cauliflower is golden. Use metal kitchen tongs to flip the pieces over and then brown the other side.  Each side should cook for about 10 minutes and ultimately both sides will be beautifully caramelized.