Roasted Cauliflower with Seed Salsa

Looking for a flavorful new way to enjoy cauliflower? This recipe, by Ashleigh Shanti, the chef behind Asheville's James Beard Award-nominated restaurant Benne on Eagle, will fit the bill. If you can roast cauliflower, you can make this dish. You don't need any special equipment and requires little hands-on cooking, just a few ingredients that are worth seeking out if you don't already have them in your pantry. Red palm oil, available in many international food markets, has a rich, buttery taste that pairs deliciously with the roasted cauliflower. Although the cauliflower is tasty, the seed salsa is really the star of the dish. The topping, made from sunflower, sesame, mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds and a de arbol chile, adds a tasty crunch and kick of heat that balances out the tender, buttery cauliflower. The topping is cooked in grapeseed oil (which is ideal in this dish because it has a neutral flavor) to bring out the bold flavors of the seeds and the chile. Keep an eye on the seeds and stir them occasionally as they cook to prevent them from burning. When they are toasty and aromatic, drizzle the salsa over the cauliflower and serve immediately. Roasted Cauliflower with Seed Salsa will taste great alongside just about any main dish, from grilled or roasted meats to seafood.

Ashleigh Shanti's Roasted Cauliflower with Seed Salsa
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards; Prop Styling: Kendra Surface; Food Styling: Anna Hampton
Cook Time:
30 mins
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • 2 small heads cauliflower or Romanesca cauliflower, quartered

  • 2 tablespoons red palm oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 chile de árbol

  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil

  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

  • 2 tablespoons benne (sesame) seeds

  • 1 ½ teaspoons yellow mustard seeds

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Gently stir together cauliflower, palm oil, and salt in a large bowl until coated. Arrange in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, place chile, grapeseed oil, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until seeds are toasted, about 20 minutes.

  3. Serve roasted cauliflower alongside seed salsa.

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