A Southern Grace: head on a plate

November 7, 2017

head on a plate


Roasted whole cauliflower. Bonus points for presentation!

Inspired by the current trend seemingly started by an Israeli chef named Eyal Shani, I roasted a whole head of cauliflower. It always takes me some time to get on board the bandwagon with things like this, but I'm a little earlier than usual!

While I can't honestly say that this preparation was my favorite of all time, it does score the top position for presentation. Plopping the whole head of bronzed, aromatic cauliflower onto a plate and delivering it to the table left me with a great sense of accomplishment. Sawing into it and releasing all of that steam and scent helped too.

I only wish it tasted a little more like the rub and less like...cauliflower. Those flavors were bountiful on the tip top of each floret, but none of it seeped into the middle portion. While we do eat first with our eyes, we eat best with our mouths, and that's where this recipe let me down. That said, I'm glad I made it and will probably try again, perhaps with stronger herbs and spices.

Roasted Cauliflower Head
Based on this recipe
(printable recipe)
Serves 4-6
  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim the outer leaves off the cauliflower and cut out the stem, then place the cauliflower in a Dutch oven with about 1/4 cup water.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well until combined.
Pour that mixture over the cauliflower and rub it all over the cauliflower with your fingertips until it's completely coated.
Put the lid on and place in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until tender.
Take the lid off, set the oven to broil and place the cauliflower under the broiler for 4-5 minutes minutes, or until it gets golden brown.
Carefully transfer the cooked cauliflower to a plate and serve immediately.


Angie's Recipes said...

I always love cauliflowers, be in florets or whole. And yes, I might add more spices too.

Gingi said...

I love cauliflower, but my husband doesn't so I rarely get to eat it these days.. but man this looks so good! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

Pam said...

You had me going for a sec with the title! Thought maybe it was a late Halloween prank or whatever... The rub on your cauliflower sounds really good. May just give it a try soon, roasting the whole head sounds easy and good! Thanks!

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen said...

I have yet to jump on this particular food trend but I love cauliflower so I need to try it soon. It's gorgeous!

Unknown said...

Like you, I'm not that sold on the taste of cauliflower, so have used a variation of what you described.. I broke the head into many little florets put oil and seasoning in a plastic bag dumped in the florets. Shake it until all are covered, then bake on a parchment lined cooking pan. Yummy all over.

Agness of Run Agness Run said...

As a passionate lover of cauliflower, this recipe seems awesome. I am so intrigued to give it a try as soon as possible!

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Love cauliflower and your presentation is gorgeous. Great spice combo as well!

Marjie said...

Maybe you can break into the stem area a little bit, and stuff the herb mix in from the bottom? That might give you the flavor you crave with the super presentation wow factor. This does sound great, but Patricia Bacon's suggestion of mixing the florets with the herb mix and roasting also sounds really delightful.

Jason said...

Great recipe! Love cauliflower—especially this time of year. Perfect for the awesome mixing bowl I got from Culinarydepotinc.com.

Adina said...

Really a good looking dish, I should give it a try, I love cauliflower.

Pam said...

I've never tried roasting it whole because it's the one veggie my husband just doesn't care for. It looks pretty & delicious.

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

New best post title EVER! Too bad the flavors didn't go through more, but wouldn't this be great for a Halloween dinner!

Velva said...

Not to long ago, I prepared cauliflower steaks ( the cauliflower was halved) and I think the flavors were better able to seep through. Still, your roasted cauliflower looks absolutely delightful. I would definitely eat my veggies more if it served with the presentation you provided.

Hope all is well.


Lisa said...

Beautiful! I love the cauliflower and the spice so this would definitely work for me.

Unknown said...

You always have the best post titles Grace but I think this one takes the cake :)

We tried roasting a whole head last year and felt the same way, super yummy outside - so bland inside, feels good to know we're not alone. Someone needs to devise a way to inject the rub inside the cauliflower, like a turkey, lol

Food Gal said...

I wonder if you could mix some of the rub into Greek yogurt and use it as a sauce? That way, once the cauliflower head is cooked, you can spoon some on for even more flavor.

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I just haven't been able to bring myself to try this yet. Not sure why, but maybe it's for the best. Please do share if you get it tweaked to full blown approval.