We recently ordered a whole roasted cauliflower as an appetizer at a local restaurant and man was it delicious! We talked about it all night and knew we had to *attempt* to recreate it. Our flavors were slightly different than what the restaurant served, and we added additional vegetables to make it a meal versus appetizer, but the end result was amazing. The cauliflower was tender and cooked through (and it wasn’t burned!), and the seasoning had great flavor. It was like eating a pot roast dinner with a side of vegetables. We call it Pan Roasted Whole Cauliflower and highly suggest giving it a try!
The recipe can be found here.
Start by preheating the oven to 450 degrees F. Make sure you check the oven racks first! You want to bake the cauliflower on the middle rack but need enough room for the height of the pan to fit so you might need to adjust the oven racks beforehand.
In a medium saucepan, add the vegetable stock, soy sauce, maple syrup, Worcestershire, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, thyme, sage, paprika, and black pepper. Whisk together, then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. I like to give the mixture a stir every so often to make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
This is a vegan recipe but if you don’t have dietary restrictions, feel free to replace the vegetable stock with chicken stock or another stock of your choosing.
In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. This makes a rue to help thicken the sauce. Slowly pour the mixture into the saucepan and whisk to combine. Let the mixture simmer and thicken for about 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. This is going to be the glaze for the cauliflower.
Place the cauliflower in the center of a roasting pan. Arrange the potatoes and carrots around the cauliflower.
I used a Braiser to roast the cauliflower, mostly because I liked the shape of the pan and it was large enough to hold all the ingredients. Instead of using a lid to cover the pan, because it wouldn’t fit, I used aluminum foil. You can use a Braiser, roasting pan, dutch oven, etc. Just be flexible and use what you have.
You can also use any vegetables you want. I only used potatoes and carrots but celery or any root vegetable would be a nice addition.
Turn the cauliflower upside down. The vegetables around the cauliflower are super helpful at this point because they create a well and hold the cauliflower in place. Pour about ½ cup of the gravy mixture into the cauliflower. I know this sounds weird and like the gravy will just drip out but don’t worry, it doesn’t! Pick up the cauliflower and slowly rotate it around to distribute the gravy inside. Then, place the cauliflower right side up and brush more gravy over the top.
Add ½ cup of the vegetable stock to the bottom of the dish to help steam the vegetables.
Add ½ cup of the gravy over the top of the potatoes and carrots.
Tightly cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes, brushing the cauliflower with gravy after 15 minutes. You obviously have to uncover the cauliflower to brush the gravy to make sure to tightly re-cover the cauliflower when you’re done.
After baking for 30 minutes WITH foil, uncover the cauliflower and bake for an additional 30 minutes WITHOUT foil. Make sure to brush the cauliflower with gravy again after 15 minutes of baking.
Remove the pan from the oven and serve warm. I find it easiest to slice the cauliflower like you would slice a cake and serve it in wedges with the vegetables on the side. You can also cut it into small chunks to serve.
The recipe can be found here.
It’s so good! A very light meal that will leave you satisfied. You could also try it on the grill for a slightly smokey flavor. I haven’t tried this, but it might be a good future recipe idea 🙂