Roasted Cauliflower Farro Bowls

This roasted cauliflower farro bowl recipe makes 2 large or 3 medium bowls that are perfect for lunch.

Cooking farro

Farro is a whole grain that cooks like rice or quinoa. I find that even using the ratios recommended on the package, I always have to drain excess water once it is cooked. For this recipe, you will cook the farro and prepare the bowl, then reheat slightly before serving. If you can’t find farro at your local grocery store, you can use quinoa instead. I usually find farro at Bulk Barn. The texture is a bit chewy, unlike a fluffy rice or quinoa.

Roasting cauliflower

Roasting the cauliflower adds a nice toasty flavor to your bowl. Simply cut it into florets, drizzle with olive oil and seasonings and roast at 425 F. for about 20 minutes. When I make this bowl, I usually alternate the seasonings from week to week. My favorite are lemon pepper and Jay’s Spice.

If you don’t want to use cauliflower, try broccoli or sweet potato.

Dressing the bowl

I like to use simple dressings for lunch bowls, so that I can assemble them quickly. This bowl uses a squeeze of half of a lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a dollop of tahini. I assemble the bowls with the farro, cauliflower and dressing so that I can warm it up before eating. This allows the tahini to melt in to the bowl and create a creamy sauce. Then I prep some additional toppings to add just before serving.

Additional toppings

There is one topping that requires a little more effort, but is well worth it, and it’s crispy breadcrumbs. I was inspired to try this after having the Roasted Broccoli and Farro salad at Juneberry. The breadcrumbs add a pleasing crisp to the bowl. Simply melt some butter in a skillet, add the breadcrumbs and a pinch of garlic powder, and stir until the breadcrumbs are toasted. As for other toppings, I like fresh parsely, crumbled feta and salted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

Serving this bowl

As I mentioned previously, I like to serve this bowl warm (not hot), then add in the feta, seeds, breadcrumbs and parsley just before serving. This achieves a combination of textures and fresh and warm flavors.

This bamboo utensil kit is from Zero Waste MVMT. I keep it in my lunch kit and wash with soap and water when I’m finished eating. Use my code TBL10, to get 10% off your order.

Roasted Cauliflower & Farro Bowls

This is a hearty lunch that can be prepped ahead of time and assembled right before eating.

Course Main Course, Salad
Keyword cauliflower, farro, feta, lemon, roasted cauliflower, tahini
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup farro, uncooked
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup salted sunflower or pumpkin seeds, divided
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, divided

Crispy breadcrumbs

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Dressing

  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cups olive oil, divided
  • 4 Tbsp tahihi, divided

Instructions

  1. Cook farro according to package directions. Make sure to drain out excess water.

  2. While the farro is cooking, preheat the oven to 425F.

  3. Chop cauliflower, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with lemon pepper and spread out on a sheet pan.

  4. Roast caulflower for 20 minutes.

  5. Split farro into two lunch-sized containers.

  6. Place cooked cauliflower on top of the farro.

  7. Add fresh parsley.

  8. Squeeze one lemon over each portion and add 1/4 cup oil and 2 Tbsp tahini to each portion as well.

Crispy breadcrumbs

  1. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in skillet and add the breadcrumbs and garlic powder.

  2. Toss until breadcrumbs are toasted and crispy.

  3. Set aside to cool.

  4. Once cooled, divide into to small containers or jars.

Toppings

  1. Fill four small jars or containers with crumbled feta and seeds.

  2. To assemble the salad, warm the farro and cauliflower bowls for 2 minutes in the microwave.

  3. Shake to spread the dressing around, then add feta, seeds and breadcrubms.

Recipe Notes

This recipe can also be made with quinoa instead of farro.

You can also use roasted sweet potato or broccoli instead of cauliflower. 

Rosemary Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Earlier this week on Instagram, I polled to see if you actually read blog posts these days. An overwhelming amount of people said “Skip to the recipe”. I don’t like to talk for nothing, so usually if there is a detailed post for a recipe on my site, it’s to help you execute the recipe efficiently and in the best way possible.

I don’t have an inspiring family story to go with this recipe today. It’s pretty straight forward but I will still provide you with some tips to execute it right.

These Rosemary Garlic Smashed Potatoes are the perfect side dish for any protein. They take a little bit more time and effort than a typically side dish, but trust me, it is worth it!

Jump to Recipe

Boil the potatoes

First, you have to boil the potatoes. Cover them completely with water, then boil for about 20 minutes. They are ready to be smashed when you can insert a fork in them and the fork easily slides out. Make sure to test this because you will not be able to smash potatoes that aren’t fully cooked.

If you want to save time, you can boil your potatoes the day before you want to smash them.

Infuse the butter

Melt some butter in a frying pan and add two sprigs of rosemary and five smashed garlic cloves. Turn the heat down to low and let the flavors infuse. You can use a spoon to smash the garlic and rosemary into the butter to release the flavors. Infusing the butter also give that amazing rosemary flavor, without the green bits of rosemary that makes my kids freak out. They love these potatoes and it’s because there are no green things on them.

Smash the potatoes

On a parchment covered baking sheet, smash the potatoes. I like to use a stainless steel measuring cup for a highball glass. The flatter and more “jagged” they are, the crispier they will be. You also want to make sure that you leave some space between each potato on the baking sheet, so that they crisp up. If the potatoes are touching, they will steam and will not get crispy.

These potatoes are not spaced out enough to ensure a crispy texture. Removing one potato from each row and spacing them out will achieve a crispier texture.

Season the potatoes

Brush each potato with the butter, saving some butter to brush on when they come out of the oven. You don’t need to salt the potatoes at this point, but a sprinkling of salt and fresh cracked pepper when the potatoes come out of the oven is a nice touch.

Bake the potatoes

Bake the potatoes at 425 for about 30 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved. Remember they are fully cooked when you put them in the oven, so the cooking time will depend on how crispy you want them. If you want to speed up the process, you can also broil them, but watch them closely so they don’t burn.

Finishing touches

To garnish the cooked potatoes, sprinkle with salt, pepper, fresh parmesan and finely chopped parsley and rosemary. I leave the fresh herbs off for the kids, but they really add some freshness so I always sprinkle some herbs on my share.

How to serve smashed potatoes

These smashed potatoes are the perfect accompaniment for grilled meat or poultry. Try them with these Lemon Basil Chicken Burgers or with a pork tenderloin marinated with one of these three marinades. If you’re looking for a quicker weeknight side dish, my Lemon Basil Orzo and Rice Pilaf recipes are perfect for that.

Rosemary Garlic Smashed Potatoes

Course Potato, Side Dish
Keyword garlic, potato, rosemary, smashed potatoes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 30 Baby potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary save one for garnish
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 425.

  3. While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter and add the rosemary and garlic.

  4. Use a spoon to bruise the rosemary and smash the garlic to release the flavors.

  5. Turn the butter to low heat and let the flavors infuse until you are ready to use it.

  6. Drain the boiled potatoes.

  7. On a parchment lined baking sheet, smash each potato, using a cup or glass.

  8. Ensure the potatoes are spaced out on the baking sheet and are not touching.

  9. Brush each potato with half of the infused butter, reserving the rest for later.

  10. Bake at 425 for approximately 30 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved.

  11. Remove potatoes from oven and brush with remaining butter.

  12. Garnish with fresh parmesan, finely chopped fresh parsley and rosemary and salt & pepper.

Test Kitchen – Battered Cauliflower

I’ve been on the hunt for a baked, crispy battered cauliflower. I tested out a few different batters to see which one would satisfy my requirements.

The criteria I wanted to fulfill was:

  • Baked
  • Stays crisp in a variety of sauces
  • Uses basic pantry ingredients

It turns out, all of the batters I tested turned out crispy but paired better with different sauces. I was inspired to try this test when I saw Half Baked Harvest’s recipe for Beer Battered Cauliflower Nuggets, which look amazing as well and I will definitely be trying. I had also purchased a bag of rice flour to use and hadn’t found enough uses for it, until now!

I seasoned all of the batters in the same way, with onion and garlic powders so that they will pair well with almost any sauce. Each recipe should be enough for one head of cauliflower. I love that these recipes use basic pantry ingredients. I ended up using lime flavored sparkling water because that is all we had, but I didn’t notice the lime flavor at all in the battered cauliflower.

Top row: Flour batter, middle row: rice flour, bottom row: cornstarch.

Flour batter

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil

Flour batter results

The flour batter resulted in a thick all-around coating for the cauliflower. It had maximum coverage and was crispy, yet puffy, almost like a crispy pancake. This one would work best for a “wing” style cauliflower, with buffalo or BBQ sauce.

Rice flour batter

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 cups sparkling water
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil

Rice flour batter results

The rice flour batter had a loud, hard crunch. It has great coverage, similar to the all-purpose flour battered cauliflower. It reminded me of tempura, except not as light and fluffy. I enjoyed this one with a light, soy dipping sauce.

Soy dipping sauce for rice flour battered cauliflower

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp ginger, chili, garlic paste (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (add more if you like a sweeter sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

Cornstarch batter

  • 2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil

Cornstarch batter results

The cornstarch batter was light and dripped off of the cauliflower, pooling at the bottom. This resulted in a roasted cauliflower with a crunchy base. With that said, the coverage was minimal, so if you’re looking for a light batter with a bit of crunch, this one is for you. I enjoyed this one with a sweet and sticky sweet chili sauce.

Top row: Flour, middle row: rice flour, bottom row: cornstarch.

Baking the cauliflower

I baked all of the different batters at the same temperature (425 degrees F) for the same amount of time (20 minutes) and the crispiness was quite similar. I did not flip them, as I didn’t want any of the batter to crumble off if it wasn’t yet fully cooked. If you like your cauliflower soft, I would extend the cooking time to 25-30 minutes.

Meal prep tips for battered cauliflower

The reason I wanted to find a battered cauliflower that bakes well, is because baking is what I like to call a “hands-off” cooking method. Which means, while the cauliflower is baking, I can use my hands for prepping other meal components or completing other tasks while I wait.

If you were going to make this on a weeknight and wanted to prep the ingredients ahead of time, you could chop the cauliflower, and measure out the dry ingredients for the batter to speed things up.

If you’re making this as an appetizer and don’t use the whole head of cauliflower, you could add it to this mac and cheese, or these lunch bowls.