Roast cauliflower with green sauce

Cauliflower took over from kale as the “must eat” superfood a few years ago, and was then bumped up another notch when cauli rice became the new, well, rice. It was lent ever more glamour when caulifower steaks hit the vegan scene and whole roast cauliflower appeared on dinner tables instead of roast pork. It does all sound incredibly faddy… But here’s the thing – I really, really like cauliflower. Always have. Always will.

Sure, it can be a little bland and needs careful handling (NObody likes waterlogged cauliflower!), but it is soooo versatile and sooooo healthy and sooooo good with bold flavours. This is my version of the whole roast option. It seems like a lot of effort, but it’s really not too bad, considering the end result is so incredibly delicious. It’s very good with a bitter leaf salad and a few sliced oranges, or perhaps some roasted grapes.

Cauli 2

Whole roast cauliflower with green dressing

Serves 4 -6 

Ingredients for the cauliflower

1 large whole cauliflower

butter and / or olive oil

salt & pepper

Ingredients for the dressing

60g walnuts, plus extra for serving

30g watercress

30g chives

30g parsley

30g coriander (cilantro)

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons raisins

2 tablespoons capers

olive oil

salt & pepper

Ingredients for the yoghurt sauce

125g natural yoghurt (not Greek) of your choice

45ml (3 tablespoons) tahini

juice from half a lemon (reserve zest for serving)

salt & pepper


  1. Trim the base of the cauliflower and remove most of the outer leaves, then place in a large pot on its base with 2cm (or an inch) of water, cover and steam for 10 minutes or until just tender, but not soft. Drain and replace the lid. Set aside for a few minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 200˚C. Place the now dry, par-cooked cauliflower in an ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil (and dot with butter, if you like), and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until completely, meltingly soft and golden all over.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the dressing. Place the walnuts on a small rimmed baking sheet and pop in the oven with the cauliflower for five minutes, or until fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn. Set aside to cool. 
  4. Roughly chop all the herbs, then place in a food processor and pulse a few times to chop. Add the chopped garlic, toasted walnuts, raisins and capers, season well. With the motor running, pour olive oil through the chute until you reach the desired consistency. You are aiming for a chunky, spoonable sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  5. For the yoghurt sauce, stir all the ingredients together. If the sauce seizes a little because of the tahini, add a little room temperature water to loosen it. Adjust seasoning and spread on the serving plate. 
  6. Carefully place the roasted cauliflower on the yoghurt sauce using a large spatula. Serve, drizzled with green sauce and  some additional chopped nuts.



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