The following is an excerpt from James Beard Award-winning chef Karen Akunowicz's latest cookbook, "Crave: Bold Recipes That Make You Want Seconds," available now on Amazon.

Cauliflower loves to be roasted at high heat and becomes texturally more interesting when you do this. While it seems to be a substitute for everything these days, it is best when treated like the sturdy brassica it is. Whether you are a vegetarian or observing meatless Mondays, this dish is so good and luxurious, you won’t miss the meat as a main course at all.

Brown Butter–​Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnuts

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:45 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Medium


  • pound 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • cup blanched hazelnuts
  • 1 pound cauliflower about 1 medium-​large head trimmed and cut into ½-inch-​thick slices
  • 1½ tbsp extra-​virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-​leaf parsley
  • cup pomegranate arils
  • 2 tsp sumac
Photo via Crave
  • Step 1

    Make the brown buttter: Set a fine-​mesh colander over a heatproof glass bowl or container. Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. The butter will melt, then start to foam and brown. When it starts to smell nutty and delicious (about 10 minutes), you are on the right track. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes more (the milk solids will blacken and fall to the bottom of the pot), then remove from the heat and strain through the fine-​mesh sieve into the bowl or container. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool a bit. Be careful; it is hot. You will use some for the hazelnuts and some for the cauliflower.

  • Step 2

    Make the hazelnuts: Place a small pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the brown butter and the hazelnuts. Stirring constantly, toast the hazelnuts in the butter until they are golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and turn out onto a plate or baking sheet to cool. When cool, chop coarsely with a knife.

  • Step 3

    Make the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl. Toss with the oil, season with the salt and pepper, and toss gently until evenly coated. Lay out the cauliflower pieces on a baking sheet. Drizzle any remaining oil from the bowl on top. Bake, turning once, until caramelized on edges and tender, about 30 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Transfer to a platter and top with 2 tablespoons of the brown butter and the parsley and pomegranate arils. Finish with the chopped hazelnuts and sumac.