Whole Roast Cauliflower with Minty Chimichurri :: Simple Bites

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Minty Chimichurri

As the weather cools, our little Mallard friends leave the lake to fly South and we make a gradual return to hearty stews, roast chicken and comforting curries in the Simple Bites kitchen.

Well, today I’m bringing you the perfect autumn recipe to serve alongside them all.

I’ve fallen hard for the whole roasted cauliflower, a trend that I’ve long resisted because of the lengthy cooking time (about one and a half hours). However, it does’t take up much oven space and needs very little attention during the roasting time, so I’ve gotten into the habit of roasting off a cauliflower alongside my sheet pan suppers and fall baking projects.

This was the solution I needed, and you need too, because this Whole Roasted Cauliflower is absolutely fantastic and I want you to enjoy it for yourself.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that needs only the proper cooking technique to elevate it from meh to yeah. Boil it and it smells like potty; process it into ‘rice’ and you disguise it completely.

Cauliflower deserves better, and this recipe for Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Minty Chimichurri puts this beautiful fall vegetable in the spotlight. Until you’ve pulled it out of the oven yourself, tugged off a tender floret and popped it scalding hot into your mouth, you won’t fully understand how truly delicious this dish is.

Full credit goes to the one-and-only Yotam Ottolenghi for the boling-then-roasting method in his lastest cookbook Simple. He tops his roasted cauliflower with a green tahini sauce, but I love the heat of the herbaceous chimichurri.

Around my table we’ve been know to scoop this tender cauliflower into bowls and top it with beef stew. It also makes a beautiful accompaniment to a Lemon and Oregano Roast Chicken, and can share the oven time as well as the table top.

It’s delicious on its own too, even without the chimichurri — just sprinkle with flaky salt and dig in. Or better yet, stir a little grated fresh ginger or lemon zest into a bowl of yogurt, season with salt and dollop it on top. Simple and so delicious.

Whole Roast Cauliflower with Minty Chimichurri :: Simple Bites

Whole Roast Cauliflower

Simple and sensation fall side dish – or appetizer – that showcases the beautiful cauliflower.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegetarian
Essential Ingredient: cauliflower
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 36 minutes
Draining: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 56 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 165kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower leaves and stem intact
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and boil a kettle full of water.
  • Place the cauliflower stem up in a deep pot, such as a Dutch Oven. Don't worry if the stem is protruding a little. Pour the hot water over and around the cauliflower, until the water level is within an inch of the top of the pot.
  • Bring the pot of water to a simmer over medium-hight heat and cook cauliflower for 6 minutes. Place a colander in the sink.
  • Carefully transfer the cauliflower to the colander (I use a large carving fork, stabbed deep into the heart of the vegetable, to lift it out). Drain — stem up, florets down — for 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, cream together the softened butter and the oil with the back of a spoon. Line a small baking sheet or a pie plate with a bit of parchment paper.
  • Place the cauliflower stem side down on the baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the half of the butter/oil mixture all over the cauliflower head, leaves and all. Sprinkle with a full teaspoon of flaky salt.
  • Place in the center of the oven and roast for about 1 1/2 hours, brushing with butter halfway through and rotating the pan if necessary. The cauliflower with take on a deep golden colour and the ends will become slightly crispy.
  • Remove the whole roast cauliflower from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. Brush with the very last of the butter and sprinkle with the remaining flaky salt. To serve, cut it into wedges or pull apart the florets. Serve with Minty Chimichurri (recipe below) or a dollop of yogourt. Don't forget to carve up and enjoy the stem, too. It's my favourite part.

Nutrition

Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 936mg | Potassium: 628mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 101mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

Minty Chimichurri

This sauce benefits from some time to rest so make it at least 30 minutes in advance of using, if time permits. It can be stored in the fridge for up to one week, but bring it to room temperature before using as a dressing or finishing sauce as the flavours will be muted if served cold.
Print Rate
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Argentinian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 673kcal
Author: Aimee

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mint leaves and soft stems
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley stems and all
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh dill or tarragon
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper deseeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika

Instructions

  • Combine the mint, parsley, dill, garlic, and jalapeño in the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse 8-12 times or until the ingredients are minced.
  • Transfer herbs to a small bowl and add the olive oil, vinegar, salt, and smoked paprika. Adjust seasoning if desired; sometimes a little more salt is needed.
  • Set aside for 30 minutes or more while you prepare your accompanying dish OR transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Nutrition

Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 73g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 1189mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3710IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 3mg

Love cauliflower? Try these recipes next:

Spiced Roasted Cauliflower with Garlicky Aioli

Creamy Cauliflower Capellini

Sheet Pan Zesty Lamb Chops and Cauliflower

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. I would never have considered eating the leaves… I’m not sold on it, but I’m definitely willing to give it a try. I bought 2 cauliflower yesterday and roasting the florets is typically the way I prepare it. I’ll roast at least one whole and see how it compares 🙂

  2. thank you for sharing and tweaking this recipe with chimichurri, anything to take it from the “meg” boiled version to a spicy or at least flavorful version is much appreciated!

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