Whole roasted cauliflower head in a Tahini and Ras El Hanout Sauce
This Roasted Cauliflower Head recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy cauliflower as baking it really amps up the flavour. Bathed in an nutty Tahini Sauce with gorgeously fragrant ras el hanout topped with pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds its a far cry from the cauliflower you pushed around your plate as a child!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine vegan, vegetarian
Keyword Roasted Cauliflower Head recipe
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 40minutes
Total Time 1hour
Servings 2as a main with a side or 4 as a side dish.
Preheat the oven to 240 celsius (465 fahrenheit) and line a small roasting pan with baking paper.
Cut the leafy base from the cauliflower, leaving enough of the stalk in tact to keep the cauliflower whole. I like to keep a couple of the inner leaves as I think they look pretty, but whether you do this is totally up to you.
Place the vegetable stock and all of the spices in a saucepan that is just big enough to hold the cauliflower and liquid. Bring to a boil and add the cauliflower and reduce to low, and cover with a lid. Poach the cauliflower in vegetable stock for 10 minutes. The goal here is to not make the cauliflower soft otherwise it turns mushy on the inside when roasted. 10 minutes should be enough to soften it slightly.
Remove the cauliflower and drain. Shake it carefully to remove any excess liquid.
Place the cauliflower in the roasting pan and lightly rub with olive oil before seasoning well with salt and pepper. Bake for around 40 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes or so to make sure it cooks evenly. Roast until the cauliflower is a deep golden and slightly dark in some patches. You can take it further and darken it more if you like, for a smokier crunchier result, although a more golden result looks much more appetising.
While the cauliflower is roasting make the sauce. Combine all of the ingredients and ⅓ cup of water in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Check the sauce consistency, and if it is too thick to be pourable add the remaining water, and whisk until incorporated.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and place on a serving dish. Drizzle with the sauce and top with the pomegranate seeds and flaked almonds. Add lemon wedges on the side and serve immediately.
True cinnamon is delicate and breakable, so you shouldn't have any problems breaking it in half. If you can't break yours you probably have cassia bark, which imparts similar flavours and can be used as a substitute. Just keep it whole.The leftover poaching liquid can be used to cook long grain rice or quinoa to serve on the side. To add a bit of interest to the rice or quinoa add some chopped dates, fried onions and roughly chopped pistachios. If you have any leftover stock from cooking the rice or quinoa you can use it to make my red lentil dahl which is exactly what I did and it was fabulous as the flavour profiles are very similar.