As often as I can, I participate in Attune Food’s Twitter chat on Wednesday mornings covering topics related to healthy eating and living. Last week, I popped in introducing my blog, myself, and stating how excited I was about roasting a whole cauliflower the night before. Andrew Wilder, of the blog Eating Rules and an Attune Brand Ambassador, jumped in and said: “Let me guess – you were in a rush and didn’t have time to cut it up”. He knows me too well.
I was home but had a sales person arriving during dinner prep time. With two gorgeous heads of cauliflower from the farmer’s market begging to be cooked, I had to move quickly before the doorbell rang. Drawing on inspiration from a recent offering at my local grocery store’s deli section, I decided to roast them whole. If New Leaf can do it, so can I!
So I grabbed my favorite cauliflower spice – za’atar – and some olive oil and salt and pepper, rubbed it all over the two heads of cauliflower, popped them in the oven at 375 degrees convection roast and proceeded to learn all about sliding glass doors from the sales person. Other than a couple of peeks in the oven and covering them near the end loosely with foil to be certain that they didn’t burn, I just let them do their thing. About one hour later, they were fork tender, I pulled them out, served them with some pita slathered with olive oil, za’atar, tomatoes, and basil and some leftover meat I had in the fridge and dinner was served.
My critics, aka the family, agreed the whole roasted cauliflower method was definitely worth repeating. We enjoyed the crunchy exterior but were happily surprised by the soft, smooth, tender, almost silky texture inside similar to what happens when you steam it.
These whole roasted cauliflowers would be a striking presentation for a buffet and simple to cook ahead of time and serve at room temp.
In my last cauliflower post, I roasted cut-up florets. What’s your favorite way to cook cauliflower?
Roasted Cauliflower: The Whole Truth
- 1 whole head of cauliflower washed and base removed but leave the head in tact
- 1 tablespoon za'atar or more or less to your liking
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 convect roast or 400 regular roast or bake. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet - I used parchment to line it for easy clean up. Rub the olive oil all over, then sprinkle on the za'atar and salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour checking at about 45 minutes for tenderness and to see if you need to cover it loosely with foil so the outside doesn't burn.
To serve, let it cool down a bit, then quarter it and enjoy.