I was inspired by a recipe I saw in Whitewater Cook’s new cookbook. This roasted cauliflower head is a show-stopper and a modern take on roasted veggies. If you’re my age and used to preparing the same old veggie side dishes, this recipe will wow the young people around your table.
Any one of these sauces is delicious as a salad dressing, dipping sauce for raw or roasted veggies or slathered on a burger or sandwich. As one peek into my fridge shows, you can never have too many tasty sauce options!
These aren’t detailed baking recipes, so feel free to adjust the ingredients to your taste.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut off the outer cauliflower leaves. Trim a bit of the stalk, enough so that it’s fairly flat and the cauliflower can rest on it.
Fill a large pot with enough water so that you can submerge about ¾ of the cauliflower. Once the water is boiling, carefully lower the cauliflower into the water, stem side up. Return the water to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the cauliflower and place it stem side up in a colander to drain the excess water.
Place cauliflower, floret side up, on a parchment-lined roasting pan. Mix softened butter and olive oil together and brush on the whole cauliflower, sprinkle with a bit of flaky sea salt. Roast for 1 – 1 ½ hours, occasionally basting with more of the butter/oil mixture that’s collected in the pan. You want it cooked but not so soft that it all breaks apart into pieces.
Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes, and then cut into wedges. Top with the desired topping.
Don’t be scared of the anchovies. I promise that no one will identify them, and they give the sauce a fantastic I-can’t-identify-what-that-great-taste-is flavour. If you want to omit them, use a bit of Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies, or finely grated Parmesan cheese for an added “umami” boost (extra flavour).
2 ounces anchovy fillets, drained
½ cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Zest of one lemon
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives or shallot
1 Tbsp. drained and rinsed capers
¾ cup mayonnaise
¾ cup plain yogurt
Freshly ground pepper
As both the capers and anchovies are salty, you probably won’t need added salt.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor except for the mayo and yogurt, and puree until combined. Add mayonnaise and yogurt and pulse until combined. If you want more of a drizzle, cut back the yogurt by a few tablespoons, and substitute a bit of milk or cream.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and 6 tablespoons of water until smooth and emulsified. Use a rasp grater to grate the garlic into the bowl. Stir, taste and adjust salt and lemon as needed.
If you choose to add one or both of the optional ingredients, taste it before and after adding them. You’ll notice how just a little bit of something extra can add that “something extra” flavour!