Roasting a whole cauliflower is a great way to serve up a vegetable that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. There are a variety of recipes for roasting whole cauliflower and I have always leaned towards cooking it whole in the oven with tomatoes and herbs.
I wanted to try something a bit different and I came up with this citrus inspired recipe with the lemons, olive oil & thyme infused into the roasting process. Give it a try and add any other herbs and ingredients that you think would boost the flavours. ** Note: At the end of this recipe I have added the link to the Jamie Oliver inspired whole roasted cauliflower with tomatoes and olive oil.
1 head of cauliflower
1/4 cup virgin oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black ground pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley or a small bunch – fresh chopped
1/4 tsp paprika or cumin ( optional )
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 lemons – sliced and quartered
small bunch fresh thyme
3 – 5 cloves of garlic
Parmesan ( optional )
In a small bowl, mix together your vinaigrette for basting. Do not add the garlic, but peel and slice for inserting into the cauliflower. Slice one lemon thinly and then cut the slices in half. Quarter the other lemon and roast in the pan with the cauliflower.
Turn on one side of the barbecue and heat on high.
Wash and pat dry the head of cauliflower. Remove the middle core from the bottom ( keeping some remaining leaves if desired for looks ). Place on a metal roasting pan or barbecue aluminum pan. Start at the top of the cauliflower and slice across the top and then across the other way making an X. Gently pry open the cauliflower allowing enough room to pour in a small amount of vinaigrette and then push in a small clove of garlic and half a thinly sliced lemon into the slit. Repeat on all 4 openings. Use your knife to make small slits in the cauliflower and add garlic in a few other spots.
With a brush, baste the entire cauliflower with the vinaigrette. Add fresh thyme on top and add a few small cut sprigs into the slits. Roast the rest of the garlic cloves around the cauliflower.
Place the cauliflower on the barbecue – the side that is not on. This is a convection style of cooking as not to be on direct heat. Close the lid and roast, basting occasionally with the vinaigrette to keep it moist and to help it brown.
Roast for approximately 1 hour. Judge by the browning on top how long you want to cook it. Parmesan can be add close to the end if desired. You may also bake in the oven if desired. Cooking time would be about the same at 375 degrees.