Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Zhoug By Somerset Foodie
Ready for a cauliflower renaissance? No more soggy, over-cooked mush, cauliflower deserves to be a dinner-plate hero! This humble vegetable is simply transformed when roasted - it's sweet and nutty with hints of smoky charring on the edges.
Roasting cauliflower whole makes for an impressive centrepiece. I've used earthy spices, a fragrant herby sauce and creamy yoghurt dressing in Middle Eastern Zhoug. Originating from The Yemen, Zhoug is a wonderfully herby and spicy sauce made from coriander, garlic and chillies. Think of Zhoug as a green harissa or a Middle Eastern pesto.
This cauliflower recipe one that you'll turn to again and again. Serve your cauliflower with some couscous or bulgur wheat for a simple mid-week supper or with roast chicken or lamb for a weekend blow-out.
The secret to making this dish great is to par boil the cauliflower whole, removing most of the leaves and slightly trimming the stalk, then leave it for 20 minutes to completely dry. Liberally drizzle olive oil over the whole thing, sprinkle on the spices and roast in a really hot oven, around 240 °C, for half an hour. The really hot oven will begin to create some charring on the outside, which all adds to the flavour of your finished dish.
Serves 4-8 (depending on the size of your cauliflower)
1 x medium-sized cauliflower, outer leaves removed and stalk trimmed back
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon hot Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Karimix Zhoug
4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
Juice of ½ lemon
A few fresh coriander leaves
2 spring onions, finely sliced (optional)
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the whole cauliflower for around 7 minutes. Sticking a sharp knife into the cauliflower should still give you some resistance.
2. Drain the cauliflower and leave it to cool and dry, this will take around 20 minutes.
3. Pre-heat your oven to 240°C.
4. Place the cauliflower, with the root facing down, into a roasting tin. Drizzle it with the olive oil, to cover the whole surface, evenly sprinkle over the spices, salt and pepper and place in the hot oven for around 30-40 minutes. This time will depend on how quickly your oven creates a charred crust around the cauliflower.
5. Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt with the zhoug and the juice of half a lemon. Set to one side.
6. Once you are happy that you have plenty of charred edges all round the cauliflower, remove from the oven to a serving plate.
7. Drizzle over the zhoug yoghurt and sprinkle with fresh coriander and finely sliced spring onions. Using a sharp knife, carve the cauliflower into chunks at the table.