Cook: Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Cook: Whole Roasted Cauliflower

When mum and I were in Israel a couple months ago, we ate at a restaurant called North Abraxus in Tel Aviv. It was HANDS DOWN the best meal I’ve ever eaten. Seriously, everything that came out was so moreish and fresh and we honestly could’ve eaten there every night for the rest of our lives and never become bored of the food.

One such dish we ate was this whole roasted cauliflower:


We sat outside, where it was dark, so that photo isn’t great – but the cauliflower was! It was so soft and buttery and we couldn’t stop picking at it with our forks, even when it was just the root left.

Since I got home, I’ve been thinking about that cauliflower and wanting to recreate it at home, so I did some Googling and came across this recipe on Food52. It had all the right components and was definitely worth a trial, so with the little cauliflower head I had in my fridge, I got to work. This is what I came out with:

Most of these ingredients you should have lying around and even if you don’t, they’re easy to come by – this recipe is all about simple ingredients elevated to a new level. I tweaked it slightly to work with what I had in the fridge (and skipped the whipped goats cheese, which looks tasty as but is not cheap to produce) and served it with a drizzle of tahini dressing. Because everything is improved with tahini dressing – but honestly, it does NOT need the dressing, the dressing is a bonus, this cauliflower is amazing alone, so so amazing. So buttery.

I then proceeded to eat the ENTIRE thing on my own, standing at my kitchen counter, with a fork, while on the phone to my mother. I had to call her, of course, she neeeeeeeeeeeeds this recipe. You do too. You really neeeeeeeeeeeed this recipe, like right now.

Yup, there is no cauliflower leftover. It’s all in my belly and it was totally worth it. If this was Twitter, I’d hashtag it #noregrets. I recommend doing the same.

Of course, if a whole cauliflower does not seem like enough dinner for you, I recommend serving it alongside roast meats as a replacement for potatoes (it is BETTER than potatoes!), or as part of a series of tapas for everyone to pick at.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower


  • 1 head of cauliflower, whole, stem trimmed, leaves removed
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (reserve a small amount of this for serving)
  • 1/8 cup salt
  • Juice of one whole lemon
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 6 cups of water
  • Course sea salt to serve


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 250C
  2. Combine wine, oil, salt, lemon juice, butter, sugar and water in a large pot and bring to a boil
  3. When the liquid is boiling, carefully lower the cauliflower in, reduce the heat and simmer, turning it occassionally, for about 15-20 mins, or until you can easily insert a night into the centre
  4. Remove the cauliflower from the water using a sifter or strainer and drain well
  5. Place inside a roasting pan and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, rotating the pan every 10 minutes so it browns evenly
  6. Drizzle with small amount of reserved olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt