Whole Roasted Cauliflower

I have 4 favourite vegetables , ones I adore and I wanted to write some recipes including them I believe that whether your a carnivore or vegetarian the option that they are just sides is never good enough, they really should be the star of the plate and easily done too. My faves are :

  1. Cauliflower
  2. Broccoli
  3. Potato
  4. Courgette

Actually I started writing this and then realised what a complete porker that statement was, I also love aubergines, carrots, all types of cabbage, brussel sprouts, leeks, etc etc  so lets just focus on the recipe and I will just realise that I adore all vegetables and cook with them a lot!



This is a bit of a trend in food currently that is about serving things whole , platter’esque- think Pigs Heads, Quails, Whole Roasted Chickens and dig in at the table, now I find this quite a delightful way of eating and the humble cauliflower has been risen to the fore as a whole roasted offering and its truly mouthwatering.

There are lots and lots of recipes if you search and in my style I like to simplify and also add my own twist: is that not what cooking is all about adaptation of any recipe?

The usual bedfellows for Cauliflower are nutmeg and cheese, but their are so many other flavour combinations that work amazingly with the nuttinesroasted cauliflowers of a roasted cauliflower try these combinations

  • Almonds or walnuts either ground, flaked, roasted with your cauliflower
  • Anchovy adds saltiness not the fishy flavour as most think or capers
  • broccoli and potato see my favourites love each other
  • Cumin and garlic amazing their natural sweetens when roasting adds a new dimension to the soft cauliflower
  • Saffron and Shellfish (At my  PopUp @ The Cowshed I added a vanilla Scallop with my Smoked Cauliflower Cheese Soup and it was a perfect marriage) . The saffron and shellfish works with the muted flavour of the cauliflower and you get all the flavour hit really well.

Other versions of cooking or not cauliflower are:

  • As a carpaccio – posh term for cutting the raw cauliflower on your mandolin to super wafer thin and either scorching with a blow torch or eating as is raw!
  • Steamed with water that is steeped with your favourite  herb and spices flavours
  • Cold Smoking it- this will add a great twist to the above and you could combine the two methods delicious BBQ food too

Recipe Roasted Cauliflower


Equipment you will need:

  • Roasting Pan
  • Large Pan that fits the whole cauliflower in
  • Sieve or Large utensil to remove cauliflower
  • Platter or Large plate to serve it one ( or greaseproof and serve on that rustic and v cool! for now anyway!)


  • Cauliflower large is great although you could get some smaller ones and serve as individual portions goes against a little of the trend but who cares!
  • Vegetable stock or Chicken stock whichever you prefer,
  • Herbs – tie together in a bit of muslim or just with a rubber band or string (not blue aka Bridge Jones!)- makes it easy to remove
  • Salt and Pepper
  • White wine 300ml ( enough left to drink with dinner!)
  • 2 tsp Vinegar (Malt is fine- white wine vinegar is best)
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 45 ml Olive oil
  • 1 lemon zest and 1 juice of the lemon
  • Nutmeg Butter (How to make flavoured butters- use the best quality butter you can afford to buy- I use flavoured butter as it adds the extra flavour and absorbs through and you can then add on your toast, or vegetables – {easily made use 250g of softened butter leave it out of the fridge for 30 minutes, put into the mixer and add your favourite flavours- here would be great to addd nutmeg into the butter, whip until smooth and mixed evenly  . place some cling film out on your counter and put the butter in line across the clingfilm , roll up into a sausage and twist the ends , place in the freezer and then when solid slice as you go and need}

How to Make

  1. Put all ingredients (Except for cauliflower ) in to a large pan
  2. The pan must fit the whole cauliflower into it
  3. Put the pan onto a low heat and allow to infuse slowly for 15 minutes
  4. Trim the cauliflower stalk so it sits flat on its own, leaving some of the leaves for added flavour
  5. Put the cauliflower Whole into the liquid and allow to cook until soft will take about 25-35 minutes
  6. When soft lift out as a whole and place in a buttered dish that will go in the oven and you can serve from
  7. Dot your flavoured butter over the top , salt and pepper freshly ground over the top ( i you desire a little of your favourite cheese, I would choose a blue or a goats cheese dont smother it you want to really taste the nuttiness of the cauliflower, drizzle a little olive oil on the top too
  8. Roast in a hot oven 180 for 25-35 minutes until golden brown
  9. Serve immediately

I had some left over and I added it to the savoury custard topping on my Bobotie recipe- delicious so many options to personalise this one.

As an Extra heres some of my must haves if your a foodie obsessive is either  Book references so here are few of my latest favoutites…….

Flavour Thesaurus Niki Segnit, The Flavour Bible by Karen Page, Harold Mcgee Website and Book Food & Cooking and also my true hits as in one of my first blog my cooking /reading cookery books, David Chang with  MomoFuku


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