This whole roasted cauliflower recipe makes a stunning centrepiece as well as being delicious. It's a creative way to serve cauliflower as a main dish and a great option for a vegetarian main roast dinner. Perhaps something different for Christmas dinner? It looks a bit like a brain but that's probably my look on it!
There is a roasted cauliflower side dish that I love with mustard and lemon so I thought about roasting a whole head of cauliflower for a change. Many moons ago when I was at University, I was making cauliflower cheese (a trusted student dish) and boiled a whole head of cauliflower instead of cutting it into florets. It was delicious and a hearty dish. Served more than one hungry student! Flash forward to a few years later (no giggling you at the back!) and it's time I roasted a whole head of cauliflower.
Although I added Parmesan cheese to this dish, you could omit it to keep it Paleo. I just fancied a touch of Parmesan cheese that day and wanted a slightly cheesy crunch to this dish. Originally, it was meant to be shared between us for lunch, but I also had a chicken dish on the go for the Chief Taster as a back up. Just in case he was having a tough morning and a head of cauliflower with a salad was not going to cut it. I couldn't do that to his colleagues as they may have suffered in the afternoon! When I took it out of the oven, I cut a small piece just as a taste test. Once the clouds of greed had lifted, it was in no shape to be served as per the photo's suggest. Wow, was it delicious. I had to put on the feeding brakes as there was a slight chance that the Chief Taster would not have seen any of it. He ended up with a few florets on his plate, which he enjoyed. Good thing I had the backup chicken!
As the roasted cauliflower was cooking I basted it with the melted butter and oil mixture that was in the bottom of the pan. Try and drizzle it all over the cauliflower and get some inside of it if you can. I had previously tried this with a different flavour combination with warm Moroccan spices and chopped onion. It did not work very well and the onion burnt a bit. The dry spices were tasty but did not quite give the cauliflower dish what I had in my mind. More butter works, every time. With everything!
So next time you are roasting a chicken, piece of beef or pork, throw a whole cauliflower into the oven too. Make the most of the oven being on for a while and bake a whole cauliflower. Delicious enough for two or four people, depending upon how hungry they are.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 whole cauliflower
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Juice & rind of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup 25g grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley to serve
- Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F degrees
- Trim the outer leaves of the cauliflower and trim the stalk so that it can stand upright on a baking dish.
- Place the cauliflower on a parchment paper lined baking tray or dish.
- Melt the butter and mix with the olive oil.
- Add the garlic powder, mustard, lemon juice & rind, salt and pepper.
- Brush the butter mixture all over the cauliflower.
- Bake in the oven for an hour until tender. Baste occasionally. Test it by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cauliflower. It should pass easily and you can feel if it is tender.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and place back into the oven for 5-8 minutes.
- Sprinkle the chopped parsley over the cauliflower and serve.
- Eat and enjoy!
Nutritional Info per quarter – 223 Calories, 21g Fat, 5g Protein, 7g Total Carbs, 3g Fibre, 4g Net Carbs