Whole-Roasted Cauliflower

The Humble Cauliflower


This is a great way, not only to prepare cauliflower, but also to elevate it into something more than just a vegetable component to a dish. Placing a whole-roasted cauliflower onto your table will certainly get everyone talking. This usually insipid white vegetable is transformed into a golden-charged globe begging to be eaten (certainly a deviation from the usual response to cauliflower).


Aside from looking dramatically amazing, the taste is also one to rave about. Before roasting, the whole cauliflower is poached in a stock of white wine, vinegar, herbs and water. This process slightly pickles the cauliflower and infuses it with flavour; while roasting makes it crisp and the charged edges has a much needed slight bitterness that adds another tone to the dish.


Albeit obvious, I served my cauliflower with a cheese sauce. As we know, cauliflower and cheese are a match made in heaven, and the pickled flavour is also one that works perfectly with cheese – resisting the combination would’ve been futile. However, the cauliflower is delicious on its own too – with or without cheese sauce.


Whole-Roasted Cauliflower


1 1/2 cups white wine

1 cup white wine vinegar

¼ cup kosher salt

3 tbsp lemon juice

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp sugar

4 clove garlic, smashed

5 pepper corns

5 sprigs fresh thyme

10 cups water

1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed


Bring all the ingredients, except the cauliflower to the boil, then add the cauliflower and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, make sure to occasionally turn your cauliflower. When ready, it should be easy to pierce with a knife through to the centre.


While the cauliflower is poaching, preheat the oven 225 degrees Celsius.


Using a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower and drain on paper towel. Place cauliflower onto a baking pain, brush with olive oil and roast for 35-40mins or until the cauliflower has chard edges.


Cheese Sauce


2 tbsp butter

2tbsp flour

½ cup cream

11/2 cups milk

1 tsp mustard powder

1 cup matured cheddar cheese


In a saucepan, melt the butter then add the flour. Allow to cook, while stirring for a minute before whisking in the cream and milk. Add the mustard powder, turn down the heat and simmer, while stirring for 10-15 until the flour cooks out. Then add your cheese and stir until melted. Check seasoning and add white pepper if needed.








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