Roasted Cauliflower with Gastrique Sauce [Copycat Recipe]

Delicious baked cauliflower on a gray plate

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You’ll love this copycat Roasted Cauliflower with Gastrique Sauce recipe, especially if you’re vegan or gluten-free. It’s impressive enough for a date night, Valentine’s Day or other special occasions. 

 

It’s easy, delicious, and perfect as a fancy appetizer, though you can serve it as a vegetarian main dish on its own or a side dish with chicken, steak, pork chops or fish.

 

P I N  THIS RECIPE TO SAVE FOR LATER!

Oven-roasted cauliflower with gastrique sauce, guacamole salsa, pepitos, and microgreens.

 

Recipe for roasted cauliflower with gastrique sauce

 

The recipe is inspired by the Livery restaurant starter dish. Their menu is packed with Latin flair and flavors. I made it many times as we are obsessed with it, and I changed a few things along the way.

 

This underrated vegetable is roasted whole it in the oven until al dente then served on a bed of guacamole salsa, drizzled with spicy sweet and sour gastrique sauce, and garnished with pepitas and microgreens.

 

If the Livery restaurant is near your location, you should definitely visit. We are known for ordering this roasted cauliflower appetizer even after we polish off the main course. It’s that good!

 

Or grab the recipe and stay home! 😃

 

Why this copycat cauliflower recipe works:

 

  • This dish is everything but boring.
  • It’s healthy.
  • It’s easy to make.
  • It will definitely make an impression. 
  • It’s absolutely delicious!

 

A whole head of roasted cauliflower, spiced, and served with spicy avocado sauce and sweet and sour gastrique sauce.

 

Tips for roasted cauliflower and gastrique sauce ingredients:

 

Keep scrolling down to the recipe card for full ingredient amounts and instructions, or click the Skip To Recipe button at the top.

 

FOR ROASTED CAULIFLOWER:

 

  • Cauliflower – Find a fresh, whole head of cauliflower with no dark spots or blemishes. Small size goes a long way.
  • Oil – I used avocado oil because it has a very high smoke point. You can also use canola, grapeseed, or sunflower oil.
  • Garlic – You’ll need garlic powder. Fresh is always better, but in this instance, it burns quickly.
  • Smoked Paprika – You can use sweet paprika or omit it altogether, however, it adds such a beautiful color and flavor depth to the cauliflower.
  • Salt – We love pink Himalayan salt, but whatever you have in your pantry is just perfect. 

 

FOR GASTRIQUE SAUCE:

 

  • Sugar – You can replace it with honey if you’re not vegan.
  • Sherry Vinegar – Or use apple cider vinegar, red wine or raspberry vinegar.
  • Red Wine – It elevates the flavor of the sauce, but it’s not mandatory to use.
  • Chili Pepper – Crushed red pepper flakes work too. You can add small slices of red bell pepper to add some color if you wish.

 

FOR GARNISH: 

 

  • Guacamole Salsa – I used mild salsa, and it has a nice kick to it, so adjust your heat in gastrique sauce accordingly!
  • Pepitas – Pepitas are pumpkin seeds without a hull. They are a delicious snack or crunchy topping and add a wonderful texture to the roasted Cauliflower.
  • Micro Greens – If you can’t find them, use pea shoots, arugula, or smallest leaves from fresh herbs. Or skip them, they’re only a garnish.

 

Ingredients for copycat roasted cauliflower recipe.

 

How to make this Livery copycat cauliflower recipe:

 

*Keep scrolling to get the full (printable) recipe and ingredient amounts.

 

  1. Roast the cauliflower: rub the whole head with a mixture of oil, garlic powder, paprika, and salt, cover with aluminum foil and bake.
  2. Make the gastrique: caramelize sugar, deglaze with vinegar and wine, and season with chili pepper.
  3. Serve: spread guacamole salsa on a serving platter, place roasted cauliflower and drizzle with gastrique sauce. Finish by topping with pepitas and microgreens.

 

How to roast Livery's restaurant cauliflower

Prep and bake the cauliflower

 

Make gastrique

 

Frequently asked questions:

 

1. WHAT IS GASTRIQUE?

 

Simply put, gastrique is caramelized sugar deglazed with vinegar. It is mainly used for flavoring sauces, like the orange sauce for orange duck, tomato sauces, and other sweet and sour sauces.

 

Storage hint: Simple gastrique will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months.

 

2. HOW TO KNOW WHEN CAULIFLOWER IS DONE?

 

If a knife can easily slide in the center without any resistance, your cauliflower is done.

 

3. WHY DO I NEED TO BAKE IT COVERED WITH FOIL?

 

You need to cover it with foil to allow the cauliflower to cook through but not burn. Remove the foil at the end to become crisp on the outside and develop a vibrant, golden brown color.

 

4. CAN I ROAST CAULIFLOWER IN THE AIR FRYER?

 

You can easily roast the cauliflower in your air fryer. Place it into the basket, set it to 350F (do not preheat!), and cook for 10-15 minutes.  

 

5. HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER CAULIFLOWER?

 

Store the leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 2 days. 

 

6. CAN I FREEZE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER?

 

We never have any leftovers, but I would chop it up and keep it in an airtight container in the freezer for 1-2 months and use it for other recipes (see below).

 

7. WHAT TO MAKE WITH LEFTOVERS?

 

  • Use cauliflower in soup or curry.
  • It makes delicious riced cauliflower.
  • Toss it in your favorite salad or use for mock potato salad
  • Make cauliflower and mushroom spaghetti
  • Make mashed cauliflower. Roasted cauliflower has much more flavor than boiled.
  • Use leftover gastrique sauce to drizzle over pork, turkey breast, fatty fish, and game. Add to the orange sauce for duck à l’orange or flavor homemade tomato sauce.
  • Guacamole salsa is the perfect creamy avocado sauce for drizzling on tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, and anything you want.

 

Cauliflower roasted and topped with gastrique sauce on a bed of guacamole salsa

 

If you make this recipe let me know. Please leave a comment below with a star rating. I love to hear from you and I always respond to each and every comment. 

 

You will love this #easy roasted #cauliflower with gastrique sauce #appetizer that also makes a delicious #vegan main or a side dish for chicken, steak, pork chops or fish. #glutenfree Click to Tweet

 

MAKING THIS RECIPE OR OTHERS?

Don’t forget to post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #ALLTHATSJAS.

 

I can’t wait to see your spin on it! Scrolling through the photos of recipes you tried is my favorite!

 

Beautifully roasted cauliflower to a golden color drizzled with sweet and sour sauce and green avocado salsa.

 

Other copycat recipes you will love:

 

THE PURPLE PIG COPYCAT PORK NECK BONE GRAVY

BONEFISH COPYCAT CHICKPEAS RECIPE

COPYCAT SIZZLE PIE RABBITS SALAD

FLATBREAD GOAT CHEESE PORTOBELLO PIZZA

 

 

NOTE: For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.

 

ESSENTIALS

for Roasted Cauliflower with Gastrique Sauce


 

Easy to make oven-baked whole head of cauliflower, spiced with chili pepper and topped with pepitas and microgreens.

 


Beautifully roasted cauliflower to a golden color drizzled with sweet and sour sauce and green avocado salsa.
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Copycat Roasted Cauliflower with Gastrique Sauce Recipe

This easy appetizer also makes a delicious vegan main dish or a side dish for chicken, steak, pork chops, or fish.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 - 4
Author: Jas

INGREDIENTS:

For Roasted Cauliflower:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower about 2 - 2 ½ lbs
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Gastrique Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine optional
  • Chili pepper slices or crushed red pepper flakes to taste

For Garnish:

  • 2-3 tablespoons guacamole salsa
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas
  • A bunch of microgreens optional

DIRECTIONS:

Roasted Cauliflower:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Trim the cauliflower head to remove any green leaves and cut the stem flush with the bottom. Cut a couple of slits into the core, extending into the thick branches of the cauliflower but keeping the florets intact.
  • In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of oil with 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Brush or rub the marinade all over the cauliflower.
  • Place the cauliflower on a greased baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, and then remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until golden brown and tender but not too soft.

Gastrique Sauce:

  • Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan add 1/2 cup sugar and enough water for the mixture to resemble wet sand (about 2 tablespoons).
  • Heat the sugar mixture over medium-high heat until the sugar granules dissolve entirely and bubbles form. Let the sugar caramelize to the desired color. The darker it is, the deeper the flavor (I like it medium-deep).
  • Swirl the pan gently to help it cook evenly, but don't agitate too much, or the caramel will crystallize.
  • Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup sherry vinegar and 2 tablespoons red wine, if using. [To keep the splattering to a minimum, pour in the vinegar swiftly rather than adding it little by little. The sugar will immediately harden, creating a unique, layered-looking design.]
  • Reduce the heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves into the vinegar. Let simmer to the desired thickness. Bear in mind that the gastrique will thicken as it cools.
  • Add the sliced chili pepper and remove from heat.

Assemble:

  • Spread 2-3 tablespoons of guacamole salsa on the bottom of your serving plate. Place roasted cauliflower on top, drizzle with gastrique sauce and top with pepitas and microgreens. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

RECIPE NOTES:

  • Use a medium or a large-size pan to make the gastrique. It will minimize the sugar and sauce splattering on your stove.
  • If your sauce is too thick, add more vinegar until you reach desired thinness.
  • Safety warning: when sugar is caramelized, do not touch or place any non-heat-proof utensils in it before adding the vinegar, as it is scorching.
  • Make the gastrique ahead and reheat just before serving.
  • Instead of roasting the whole head, you can separate it into two-three clusters of florets (as they do at Livery) or cut into steaks. This is quicker to make and easier to serve. Brush the steaks with oil marinade. Bake at 400 F for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  • I use a pastry brush to rub the marinade all over the cauliflower, but you can also use your hands.
  • Baking time may vary depending on your oven and the size of your cauliflower or how soft you want it, so keep your eye on it.
  • If your cauliflower is already golden brown, but not soft enough, cover with aluminum foil again and bake until soft.
  • This dish tastes best when served fresh out of the oven.
  • For the best results, read all my other tips in the post above.
Tried this recipe?Snap a photo and mention @all_thats_jas or tag #allthatsjas on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

NUTRITIONS:

Nutrition Facts
Copycat Roasted Cauliflower with Gastrique Sauce Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 499 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Sodium 674mg28%
Potassium 995mg28%
Carbohydrates 68g23%
Fiber 7g28%
Sugar 56g62%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 123IU2%
Vitamin C 139mg168%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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10 Comment

  1. Reply
    Jeff the Chef
    February 5, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    I had something like this once in a restaurant. I had no idea how it was made. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 6, 2020 at 11:24 am

      You’re so welcome, Jeff! 🙂

  2. Reply
    Alice | Skinny Spatula
    February 5, 2020 at 5:03 am

    Looks very sophisticated and you make it sound so easy. I’ve never had cauliflower made this way, but I’m going to try yours.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 6, 2020 at 11:23 am

      That makes me so happy! Keep me posted. 😀

  3. Reply
    Katie
    February 5, 2020 at 1:31 am

    Made this for the family and it was a hit!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 6, 2020 at 11:22 am

      So happy to read that. Thank you, Katie!

  4. Reply
    Emily
    February 4, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    This copycat recipe is restaurant quality for sure! The best roasted cauliflower recipe ever!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 6, 2020 at 11:22 am

      Awe, thank you so much! The best thing for your budget when you really love a restaurant dish, is to recreate it at home. 😀

  5. Reply
    Laura | Wandercooks
    February 4, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    I’m always on the hunt for good vegan recipes, and I’ve come across a winner today!! Thanks so much, the sauce was soooo good!! Really teamed well with the cauliflower 🙂

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 6, 2020 at 11:21 am

      Thank you, Laura! The sauce is really everything! 😀

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