I am of the mind that often you can tell more about the quality of a restaurant by the side dishes than the main course.  A main course is obviously going to be the the focus the majority of the time, but if a restaurant puts as much care and finesse into their sides as they do the entrees, it’s likely someplace I’ll want to return.  If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve heard me mention numerous times how much I adore Traders Point Creamery, specifically their restaurant The Loft.  I nearly always order their vegetable side option, and it is always amazing.  This particular dish was inspired by a side dish I ordered there a few months ago.  I can’t remember exactly what my main course was that day  (I do remember loving it, as always) but the thing that stuck out to me afterward was the roasted cauliflower with red pepper coulis.  Any place that can make me daydream about cauliflower is pretty spectacular, if you ask me.

Early this fall I set out to recreate the dish at home and it was quite easy to do.  Unfortunately my first couple of attempts were devoured before a photo was even attempted, but I finally made it happen.  Since eating more veggies is totally in right now, and will be at least until the end of January, this cauliflower is here to help.  And the great thing is, it’s so easy to make and so tasty, I bet you’ll keep making it even after this month is over.

  • Yield about 4 servings


For the red pepper coulis:
2 red bell peppers
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced

For the cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


  • 01

    To make the red pepper coulis, preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  Line a baking pan with foil and place the whole bell peppers on the baking sheet.  Roast until the skin is browned and bubbling, about 15 minutes, turning at least a few times during cooking to brown all sides.  Once the peppers are evenly browned, remove them to a plate or bowl and cover with plastic wrap or foil (I reuse the foil from the baking pan).  Let stand about 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 450˚ F.

  • 02

    Remove the peppers from the plate and transfer to a cutting board.  (If they are too hot to handle, let them cool for a few minutes.)  Peel the skin from the outside of the peppers and discard – it should come away easily thanks to the roast/rest technique.  Seed and coarsely chop the peppers.  Place the roasted peppers in the bowl of a food processor along with the olive oil, vinegar, and garlic.  Process until totally smooth.

  • 03

    Place the cauliflower pieces on a baking sheet in an even layer.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss gently.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 12-15.  Serve immediately with the red pepper coulis.