So, I thought, being The Whole Ingredient it was about time I shared with you a recipe created from one whole ingredient! And not just any recipe either; this is an absolute favourite in our house. This is a recipe that I make at least once a week, because it’s:
- incredibly nutritious; and
- (here’s what you really want to hear) it’s so, so easy to make.
It’s a whole roasted cauliflower!
Roasting a cauliflower whole is not only wonderfully healthy and simple, but it’s also a really impressive dish to bring to the dinner table (you can carve it!), and it has a surprising range of flavours and textures. The spiced-dusted outer layer takes on a lovely crispness, while the insides become meltingly soft. One of the best things about cooking cauliflower in this way is that you can customise it to your preference: if you love your veggies to be al dente, just cook it for less time. Do you love soft, falling-apart florets? Cook it in foil for longer! You can always test it with a knife during cooking to ensure you take it out of the oven at just the perfect time.
If you want to play around with the seasoning, just adjust the flavours to what you fancy. Cumin seeds are a great addition, as is a dusting of garam masala. For something more zesty, squeeze over some fresh lemon or lime juice before and after cooking. Using citrus is also a great option for if you want to make this recipe completely oil-free, just cook the cauliflower in the foil for longer and it will steam in the juices. In fact, I think a nice light ale would work beautifully too.
Cauliflower is so good for you! This brassica is packed with nutrients, from Vitamins C and K for healthy bones; and lots of minerals including copper and magnesium. Did you know copper can be helpful in reducing the symptoms of arthritis? Cauliflower is also high in fibre and, it is thought, good for indigestion. Coming from the same family as kale and broccoli, these beautiful vegetables are also full of antioxidants, which might be why you’ve been hearing a lot about them recently. What a super food!
Here are some of the ways I love to incorporate this whole-roasted cruciferous beauty into my weekly meals:
- as a side dish to accompany curries and noodle dishes. This particular recipe works incredibly well with the flavours in my Clementine Miso Noodle Bowl, as it soaks up the zingy broth beautifully;
- to serve as a base for my take-to-work lunch. Cut it into segments and store in the fridge – a large cauliflower will last for a week (just increase the cooking time to an hour). Add to soups, dress up with different sauces and salad ingredients, or combine with other meal leftovers;
- for when I’m making a roast dinner and fancy a cooked veggie dish to go with all the steamed greens. This is a great no-hassle option that can go in the oven at the same time as the potatoes;
- cut into thin slices to include in sandwiches as cauliflower steaks! I’ll be sure to share this recipe with you soon…
So here’s the recipe for a real whole ingredient meal; I hope you love it.
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- Remove as many of the leaves as you can using a sharp knife, being careful not to cut into the stalk or florets. Slice off the bottom of the stalk so that the cauliflower can sit evenly on a flat surface.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Place the cauliflower in a baking tray or dish lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle over the spices, followed by the oil. Don't worry too much if it drips down the sides.
- Cover loosely with foil and cook on the top or middle shelf for 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and cook for a further 20 minutes. It will depend on the size of your cauliflower as to how soft it will be, so test with a knife to check it's to your liking.
- Cut into wedges, slices or florets and serve!
If you're cooking this recipe as part of a roast and are already using the oven shelves, the cauliflower will cook just as well at the bottom of the oven, it'll just take a little longer.