I’ve always loved cauliflower steamed until just tender, salted, and served with a little melted butter, or olive oil. But lately I’ve become curious about other ways to serve it, especially now when the vegetable is at peak season, so snowy and tender. Something a little piquant seems called for, to offset the vegetables’ slight sweetness – something acid, something herbal, something cheesy.
Here’s a recipe that does all of that. And the great thing is, it’s easy. Wait – another great thing. When you serve an entire head of cauliflower, all you need is good bread, butter, and salad to make a fine vegetarian meal.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Yogurt And Herbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head cauliflower, trimmed of leaves and hard stem parts
1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup chopped parsley or fresh za’atar or oregano
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or other sharp cheese.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper, or grease it well with butter. Preheat the oven to 205°C – 400°F.
In a large bowl, blend yogurt with all remaining ingredients except cheese.
Steam the cauliflower: see UPDATE below. Turn the cauliflower, head-down, into the bowl. Move it around gently to cover as much of the surface as possible with the yogurt blend. Spoon more yogurt into the spaces between the florets. Turn right-side-up and massage more yogurt all over it.
Press the grated cheese all over the surface, as much as possible. Place it on the baking sheet.
Roast the cauliflower 30 – 40 minutes, until well crusted and tender. Check for done-ness by inserting a thin knife into the thickest part, on the bottom.
Serve, and enjoy.
UPDATE: I’ve received a couple of comments where the readers stated that their cauliflower remained tough even after prolonged cooking. Maybe Israeli cauliflower is more tender, or maybe late-summer cauliflower is more mature and tough. But I now advise steaming the whole head of cauliflower in an inch of boiling water for 5 minutes before going on to seasoning and roasting it.