This will surely convert anyone that says they don’t like cauliflower. It makes for a great presentation and conversation starter, when you place the dramatically, whole roasted head on the table! Spear it with a knife, for even more oomph~
Much like roasting anything whole, it intensifies the flavour while literally cooking in its own juices. Vegetables are no exception: just picture a roasted potato, sweet potato, etc. A definite way to liven up many veg, you get the benefit of a soft centre and a crispy outside, literally something to please everyone at the table.
Even raw… isn’t it a beautiful thing?
We ALL love recipes where an appliance does most of the ‘heavy lifting’, and this one is no exception. A little trim of the excess leaves, and stem is all the prep work the veg needs. Coating with a seasoned butter & oil mixture, that takes just minutes to make, and a little basting during cooking is all that’s required.
You can also change the seasoning to please. Cauliflower really is a blank canvas, ready to take on all sorts of flavours. I used a mixture of butter, olive oil, cumin, salt & pepper – for this first time.
If your household is small…?
Make it anyway! Leftovers are excellent, sliced and fried in some butter and/or oil. Use as another vegetable side or even as a main course. Think.. cauliflower steaks. You could simply sprinkle on your fave melting cheese and serve with salad for a fab & healthy lunch or dinner. Use it as a base for fried eggs to serve for breakfast, or breakfast for dinner! For something more adventurous, with the cooking time cut drastically try, cauliflower steaks with puttanesca style relish.
I promise you, the aromas in your house will drive you crazy while this is roasting! Just be sure that the baking dish/pan/skillet you use isn’t much bigger than the cauliflower head, otherwise at the high temperature, the bottom just might burn – and you’ll have no delicious juices for basting.
Cook it until it’s as crispy as you like, as long as it doesn’t get too mushy inside (unless of course you want it that way!) Baste a couple of times during the cooking, and test for done-ness with a paring knife. To serve, place the whole head on a serving plate, baste again with the juices in the pan, and spear with a knife for a dramatic flourish!
Roasted Whole Cauliflower
- 1 whole head cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons butter softened to room temp
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Trim the toughest outer leaves, leaving some on for presentation. Trim the bottom stem so the cauliflower will sit flat.
Steam for 10 minutes. Remove from steamer and let drain upside down, while you heat your oven to 450°F.
Combine butter, oil and seasonings, working into a paste.
When oven is ready, place cauliflower head into a baking tray just big enough to hold it (too much empty space and it will burn!) Smear as much of the seasoned butter mix onto the cauliflower, as it will hold. If you have extra you can add it later.
Bake for 35 - 45 minutes, basting occasionally, and topping with any extra seasoned butter mix that’s left over. Let it brown or even char as much as you like, without it getting too mushy inside. That’s where the flavour is, and it makes for a great presentation!
To serve, place the roasted cauliflower on a serving plate, drizzle with the remaining pan juices and spear it with a cutting knife for a dramatic flourish.
- For other spices try smoked paprika, thyme, garlic, oregano, etc
- Slice leftovers into 'steaks' and fry in butter and/or olive oil, top with melting cheese, tomato sauce, puttanesca sauce, etc.