Friday, February 21, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Cilantro Pesto

Do you like to read "day in the life" posts?  I loved this one on What's Gaby Cooking (the first food blog I ever read!),  saw this one recently on How Sweet It Is, and was inspired to write my own.  I think it's fun to get a peek into someone's daily routine.  Of course, if you don't, you can just scroll down for the recipe.

If you're still with me, here's the story of my Thursday!

I woke up late, around 9:30.  Since Ben works from home on Thursdays, he had made coffee.  I had mine with vanilla chai spiced ghee and a splash of cream, blitzed with my immersion blender.

In the kitchen, I briefly contemplated abandoning my cauliflower plans since I wasn't sure I had time to cook and photograph everything before class at noon, but I decided to go for it.  I had a gorgeous orange cauliflower from Whole Foods, so I had to take a few shots of it before chopping it up.

After making the cauliflower and pesto, I took a bunch more photographs (76 total for the morning). I would have taken more, but partway through my shoot, I realized I needed to leave within fifteen minutes or I would be late to class.  I ate half the cauliflower and pesto (breakfast!), left the rest for Ben, and got dressed fast.  Normally I make eggs in the morning, but there was no time for that.

I drove to school.  Usually I take the train, but on Thursdays I drive because I have to stay late.  It takes about 25 minutes to drive to Charlestown, but I like my commute because I get to drive right along the bay for part of it.  When I got to the Navy Yard, both parking garages were full.  I found a spot on the street and raced to class.  

Our Thursday afternoon class is neuroanatomy (I'm studying to become a speech & language pathologist, which you've probably heard me mention before).  We have our midterm exam next week, and this week we went over the anatomy and function of cranial nerves 7-12.  It's a three-hour class, so we get a break.  During the break I had to move my car (2-hour parking limit), and had time to grab a Greek yogurt, which was good because I was starving.  Note to self: cauliflower with creamy cilantro pesto is not a complete breakfast.

Our lounge at school overlooks the USS Constitution.  I love the view!

After class, I moved my car again (welcome to my life every Thursday) and headed to Style, one of my favorite cafes.  I got a chicken burrito bowl and caught up on some reading and online discussions for my other Thursday class, which is on teaching literacy to English language learners.  Normally on Thursday I work with a client in the afternoon, but not this week since it's school vacation for the kids.

Around five I moved the car one last time, then headed to my other class, which is from 5:30 to 7:30. We watched some clips of effective ESL instruction and analyzed what the teachers were doing well, which was pretty fun.

After class I headed straight home.  Ben had ordered Indian, so we had chicken tikka masala and saag paneer.  I made my own saag paneer recently, so there's hope that we might break our delivery addiction someday.  After dinner, I spent a while loading the dishwasher and importing the photos from this post.  It took forever because my computer has almost no space left on it, and I had to delete a bunch of things.

Next it was time to exercise.  9:30 may seem late for a workout, but I kind of like it--it helps me wind down at the end of the day, and I feel accomplished and happily tired afterwards.  I do Barre3 workouts--they are absolutely amazing.  I did a 30 minute workout and some good stretching.  Smitty likes to help with core work--she thinks it's our special bonding time on the floor.

That brings us to now--editing photos and writing this post.  Phew.  Good thing I'm almost done, because it's not even Thursday anymore!

In conclusion, this cauliflower with creamy pesto is delicious.  Cilantro pesto is my favorite kind and if you haven't tried it, now is the time!  If you happen to be cilantro-averse, you can try this with basil instead.

Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Cilantro Pesto
Yield: 2-3 side dish servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes


For the cauliflower:

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into bite-size florets
1 tablespoon olive oil or melted ghee
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pinches garlic powder, or to taste

For the creamy cilantro pesto:

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, lightly packed
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons heavy cream, plus extra as needed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make the roasted cauliflower, reheat the oven to 425.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Toss to coat the cauliflower with the oil and seasonings, making sure it ends up in a single layer.  Roast for about 20 minutes, tossing once about halfway through, or until browned around the edges and cooked to your liking.

To make the creamy cilantro pesto, place the cilantro, Parmigiano Reggiano, and one tablespoon of olive oil in a food processor.  Process until well combined, then add the rest of the olive oil gradually with the motor running.  Add the cream, salt, and pepper and pulse to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Serve the cauliflower hot or warm, with the pesto on the side for dipping or drizzled on top.

This post contain a affiliate links.  If you make a purchase on Amazon after clicking one of my links, I receive a very small commission (the price you pay is not affected).  Thank you so much for supporting my blog!



  1. Recipe looks yummy! I just made a cauliflower soup with watercress (antioxidants!) and this recipe looks like one I'll have to try. You had quite the day- so impressed you worked out at the end of it!

    I love reading your blog. :)

    1. Thank you, Jessica! Soup with watercress sounds so good--I will have to get that recipe from you!

    2. I will gladly give it to you!

  2. I absolutely love cauliflower. This looks absolutely delicious, and that sauce looks amazing!

    1. Thank you, Rachel! Cilantro is my favorite herb for almost everything, and it's great in pesto.

  3. I love all things cauliflower, but I've never thought of serving it with pesto - love it!

    1. Thank you, Chanie! It's a delicious combo!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jackie! I just came back to this post today because I am plotting a dairy-free version, and realized I had never responded to your sweet comment. Thank you again for reading!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love hearing from you. Comments are moderated and sometimes take a few hours to appear.