Who needs whole roasted meat when you have a healthier and just as delicious alternative in whole roasted cauliflower?
If the only step between you and a vegetable meal is the obligatory chopping, dicing, and slicing, then this whole roasted cauliflower recipe was made for you! All you need to do is busy yourself for an hour while a whole cauliflower cooks in the oven and then whip up a simple dressing that delicately coats it while it is still piping hot. When all is said an done, you’re left with a deliciously tender and flavorful dish that mimics the ritual of a roasted meat, only in an animal-friendly, lighter, and healthier way.
The beauty of this whole roasted cauliflower recipe is its simplicity and versatility. The cauliflower’s dressing is a basic mixture of olive oil, lemon, mustard, herbs, and capers. But don’t stop there. Let your imagination run wild and experiment with other spices – the sky is the limit! Instead of lemon juice, you can use vinegar, lime, or soy sauce. For a (vegan) cheesy overtone in each bite, stir nutritional yeast into the mix. Other dressing complements include grated parmesan cheese, tomato paste, or pesto. Or, you can simply pair the roasted cauliflower with a high-quality butter. No complaints there.
In this particular recipe, lemon, mustard, and capers come together to create a very interesting flavor profile that is both zesty and grounding. The cauliflower is dense and thick, which is why it is effective at not only standing in for regular meat or poultry but also withstanding otherwise strong, overwhelming flavors. The cauliflower holds its own and mellows out the dressing in the most satisfying of ways.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Mustard
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the dressing
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon baby capers, drained and rinsed
- Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightly grease the bottom of a baking dish that the whole cauliflower can comfortably fit into. Snip off the cauliflower leaves and slice off the bulky base, making sure the cauliflower florets stay intact. The cauliflower should be able to sit flat on its base. Drizzle the olive oil and sprinkle the salt evenly over the top and sides of the cauliflower. Bake for 1 hour, or until lightly brown and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the dressing.
In a bowl, whisk together the dressing mixture. While the cauliflower is still hot, drizzle the dressing over it and serve.
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Whole Roasted Cauliflower Image from Shutterstock