Cauliflowers are great. They are, of course, amazing covered in a cheese sauce and baked into the classic cauliflower cheese. But, they also live an exciting double life as the perfect vehicle for spice. I’ve been LOVING roasting spiced up cauliflower florets for years now so I just knew a whole roasted cauliflower was bound to be something special. And I was right! This was my first ever attempt and I’ve got loads of ideas up my sleeve for variations…see the end. But here’s something to get you started if you fancy a special meat-free roast this weekend. The important thing to remember when roasting cauli’s whole is that they take a long time, over an hour usually. Think giant jacket potato. As always, adapt and adjust to your liking, and let me know how you get on. Liz x
Whole Roast Cauliflower, Chickpea & Coconut Curry.
- 1 cauliflower, leaves peeled off & the base levelled
- 1 tin of coconut milk
- 1 (or 2 if you are feeding more than 4 people) tins of chickpeas, rinsed & drained
- 1 lime, zest & juice
- 1 tbsp brown mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
- A small handful of fresh/frozen curry leaves
- Sliced chillies to taste
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
- An inch or so of fresh ginger, grated
- Salt & black pepper to taste
Put all the ingredients in a small, deep roasting dish and add a mug of water. Mix and smear the coconut and spices all over the cauliflower. Place in the middle shelf of your oven (200C) and roast for at least an hour depending on the size of your cauliflower. It could take an extra half hour… Keep checking on it every 15 minutes or so and basting it by spooning over the sauce. If your cauli is very big the sauce may start to dry out so add some more water or another tin of coconut milk. Check for done-ness by inserting a skewer into the middle.
Serve sliced wedges of the cauliflower over some boiled rice and spoon over the lovely, coconutty roasted chickpeas. Sprinkle with lots of chopped coriander leaves and provide lime wedges to squeeze at the table. I love it with lime pickle and mango chutney too!
Oh and don’t discard the cauliflower leaves! Fry them up in a little oil with sliced chillies, garlic, cumin seeds, salt and pepper! If you can get hold of some okra put that in too! With a squeeze of lime juice. Lovely ?
Some other ideas I’ve had and which I will be trialing soon…
Smear with chermoula paste, tip in a couple of tins of tomatoes, a tbsp of Harissa paste, some chopped dates and red onions. Season well, drizzle with olive oil and roast. Serve with fluffy cous cous and salad. And a tahini dressing!
Smear with Thai green curry paste. Add coconut milk, lime and spring onions. Roast and serve with rice/noodles and steamed greens.
…or any shop bought Indian curry paste, with a base of tomatoes/coconut milk, red lentils or chickpeas.
Or cover with olive oil and sprinkle fennel seeds, crushed chillies, crushed garlic, dried oregano and seasoning. Roast with a base of tomatoes and serve on pasta or polenta.
Or garlic, Rosemary, butter beans and tomatoes?
The possibilities are endless! And endlessly delicious.