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.
Livery's 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!
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.
- 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.
How to make this Livery copycat cauliflower recipe:
*Keep scrolling to get the full (printable) recipe and ingredient amounts.
- Roast the cauliflower: rub the whole head with a mixture of oil, garlic powder, paprika, and salt, cover with aluminum foil and bake.
- Make the gastrique: caramelize sugar, deglaze with vinegar and wine, and season with chili pepper.
- Serve: spread guacamole salsa on a serving platter, place roasted cauliflower and drizzle with gastrique sauce. Finish by topping with pepitas and microgreens.
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.
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.
MAKING THIS RECIPE OR OTHERS?
I can’t wait to see your spin on it! Scrolling through the photos of recipes you tried is my favorite!
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
Copycat Roasted Cauliflower with Gastrique Sauce Recipe
For Roasted Cauliflower:
- 1 small head of cauliflower, about 2 - 2 ½ lbs
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
For Gastrique Sauce:
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons red wine, optional
- Chili pepper slices or crushed red pepper flakes , to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons guacamole salsa
- 2 tablespoons pepitas
- A bunch of microgreens, optional
- 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, ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika and ½ 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.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan add ½ 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 ¼ 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.
- 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.