A few years ago my SO came across this recipe for roasting cauliflower. We posted a link to it way back when, and since then it's been one of our most-cooked recipes. However, the original recipe is written rather vaguely, and thus we're re-posting it here with more detailed instructions. This is also one of this week's end-of-the-week recipe blogging posts, as we just made this again last week.
And, to reiterate what we've said before, this is quite possibly the world's best method of cooking cauliflower; if you haven't tried it yet, you're missing out.
1 head cauliflower, rinsed (approximately 2 pounds untrimmed; ~1 3/4 pounds trimmed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
0. Preheat your oven to 475F.
1. Remove the leaves and any bad spots from the cauliflower.
2. Cut the head of cauliflower into florets. We prefer large-ish florets (maybe 1 1/2 inches in diameter), though the size doesn't matter much. You can also chop the stem and include that as well (we cut the stem into ~1/4" thick slices).
3. Put the florets and stem slices in a roasting pan large enough to hold them in a single layer, and then sprinkle with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix.
4. Roast for 35 minutes, or until there are numerous small browned/blackened bits in the pan, and all the florets are well browned in spots (they'll appear to be almost burned). Stir every 10 minutes while baking, using a wooden spoon/spatula to scrape the stuck pieces off the bottom.
5. Serve immediately.
This is best immediately after it comes out of the oven; it tends to get a bit mushy and lose some of its excellent flavor once it has cooled. The little nearly-burned bits in the bottom of the pan are full of flavor; we enjoy scraping them out of the pan and adding them to our plates.
This makes enough to serve as the primary component of a meal for two; it'd probably make enough for a side dish for four, though we rarely serve it as a side dish. This is perfectly delicious plain, but can be served with a cheese sauce if desired.
This recipe scales well, so feel free to vary the amount of cauliflower (as long as the cauliflower fits in a single layer in your roasting pan).
Weide, Stephanie Vander. 2004. "Blue Plate Special: Cauliflower and Crabs". Grub Report, December 12, 2004. http://www.grubreport.com/blueplatespecial/caulicrabs.html. Accessed 2005.