Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Dip

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Dip

This month, we’re featuring our favorite appetizer recipes — tasty starters you can easily throw together to keep guests satisfied until dinner begins. First up, a creamy dip from Elizabeth of Brooklyn Supper

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Dip
by Elizabeth Stark of Brooklyn Supper

For years, my go-to appetizer was a rich caramelized onion dip. Nothing crazy; just onions, herbs and the thickest sour cream I could find. But as my menus became more elaborate, I started looking for less imposing (and caloric) ways to kick off a meal. I traded heavy and rich recipes for lighter, brighter concoctions – something delicious enough to stave off hunger while still playing a supporting role to a fantastic meal.

This cauliflower dip offers up just the right mix of hearty and healthful. Roasted cauliflower florets and toasted pepitas lend richness and texture, while hints of garlic, lemon and nutmeg keep things bright and lively. It all comes together in a flavorful dip that will have everyone asking for the recipe.

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Dip

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Dip

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Dip

You’ll need:

4 cups 3/4-inch thick cauliflower florets
1 head garlic, root end trimmed and broken into cloves
4 tbsp plus 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 tbsp pepitas
2 tbsp minced flatleaf parsley
Sea salt
Ground cayenne pepper to taste
Flatbreads or crackers, for serving

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a medium-sized bowl, toss cauliflower florets and garlic cloves (still in their papery skin) with 1 tbsp olive oil. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with sea salt. Make sure garlic is tucked up against the cauliflower florets to protect it from the heat. Flipping halfway through, roast until cauliflower is tender and golden, about 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, set a small skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, then the pepitas. Toast 2-3 minutes, just until the seeds become fragrant and a few start to pop. Toss with sea salt and set aside.

When cool enough to handle, squeeze roasted garlic out of the papery skins.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse to combine roasted cauliflower and garlic, 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas, lemon juice, nutmeg and cayenne pepper to taste. With food processor running, drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil (for a creamier dip, add up to 2 more tablespoons olive oil). Taste and add additional sea salt, cayenne and lemon juice as needed.

Spoon dip into a wide bowl, drizzle with remaining teaspoon olive oil, minced parsley and remaining toasted pepitas. Serve with warm flatbread triangles or crackers.

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Dip

Thank you so much, Elizabeth!

P.S. More recipes, including readers’ 12 favorite recipes of all time.

(Recipe and photos by Elizabeth Stark. Thanks to Stella Blackmon for helping with this series.)

  1. jessica says...

    LOVE ME SOME BROOKLYN SUPPER ! best food blog out there !

  2. I’m all about easy and tasty appetizers! Today on my blog I wrote about smoked salmon spread with lemon and dill. Such an easy make-ahead appetizer that feels a little fancy!

  3. I am not a fan of chick peas, so any hummus-like dip, that is not hummus, I love! So excited to try this recipe out!

  4. This looks like such a fun/healthy spin on party dips and the ubiquitous hummus. Hoping to try it this holiday season!

  5. Oh! I needed this dip last Saturday… It looks delicious!
    This past Saturday, we had a family party at home and I made a cheese plate that everybody loved.
    This is the blog post I published today!
    And the video I made on it!
    Sorry for all the links Joanna, it’s just a good dip for my cheese plate… :/


  6. Sadie says...

    Does this last okay? Could I make it the day before or the morning of and just re heat it? My oven is always so busy before dinner parties that anything I can do ahead is a win.

    • Hi Sadie,
      This recipe is super forgiving and can definitely be made ahead. Since it has so few ingredients, it also works great when served at room temperature. Just reheat gently, stir, add garnishes, and you should be good to go.

  7. I love experimenting with cauliflower!! This dip is going to be perfect for the upcoming holiday gathering! I’m planning to serve it with Terra sea-salt vegetable chips which are my favorite!


  8. ever since my discovery of my wheat allergy i have been trying to reduce wheat and incorporate more vegetables and that has led to lots of cauliflower, i’m always so excited to come across new cauliflower recipes – that too hummus! my fav! what a creative recipe!

  9. I’m a huge hummus fan, and my husband loves roasted cauliflower, so I’m definitely giving this a try!

  10. I love cauliflower… So this is right up my avenue ♥
    It looks so tasty ♥

  11. The food processor has turned into my new miracle worker. I love how it can transform something as sturdy as cauliflower into a beautiful dip (with some evoo of course).

    Just last night I used it to blend up rice to make rice fritters and I was amazed. I love the recipes your posting!

  12. Abby says...

    I bet if you threw in some cashews that had soaked in water to blend with the cauliflower and garlic, it would make the dip even creamier! A dairy free alternative :)

    • Great idea! Cashews tend to give off that “cheesy” flavor which makes anything taste good!

  13. This sounds great – I think I’m going to try it out at my next get-together. Pinning now!

  14. Yummm, this looks delicious. I am not that much of a sweet tooth, so this appetizer-series is perfect for me. In fact, I once had a homemade dinner with an appetizer-loving friend of mine and we decided to skip the rest of the menu all together, it was an appetizer-only meal. ;) Pinned!

    xx B

  15. Ooo I so want to try this! I love cauliflower!!! =)

  16. Sophie C says...

    What the heck are pepitas?! I don’t think they are very common in the UK!

    • Lisa says...

      Pumpkin seeds. I also had to google it. ‘Murica..