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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love cauliflower. It is meaty, tasty, and can be enhanced with various herbs or sauces. Most often I break it into cauliflowerettes, coat it with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and spices and roast it in a hot oven.
The other night I had some vegetarian friends come for dinner and I decided to roast the entire head of cauliflower intact. I read various recipes and reviews – I was especially enamoured with the comments because they saved me from disaster.
And here is what I did: I quickly boiled the entire head of cauliflower, drained it and patted it dry and then brushed it with a butter/olive oil mix, sprinkled with salt and pepper and roasted it for another hour at 350 in my toaster oven. Just like a roast or a chicken, I let the final product “rest” before “carving” it into half inch full slices or steaks. I then passed my homemade tomato sauce and some fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese to top it off.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Salt -about 1 teaspoon
- White ground pepper
Preheat oven to 350 (you can use your toaster oven if it’s big enough for the head of cauliflower).
Trim the leaves from the head of cauliflower. Fill a large stock pot with water and submerge the entire cauliflower head in the water, stem side up. Add the juice of ½ a lemon and a little salt to the pot. Once it starts to simmer, cover it and cook for six minutes. Drain well and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Melt the butter and add the oil. Brush the cauliflower with some of the butter/olive oil mixture and sprinkle with salt and white ground pepper.
Put the cauliflower stem side down on a greased, foil-lined pan and bake it for one hour, basting with the butter/oil mix every 20 minutes. Keep baking until the cauliflower is really tender. To test, insert a sharp knife blade into the center – it should slide in very easily. Allow to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing into “steaks” about ¾ inch thick.