This spiced-up whole roast cauliflower with lemony herb yoghurt is bringing sunshine into my winter. I have made this several times over the past few weeks and I think it would be just as delicious as a spring vegetable for my friends on the other side of the world.
For us, cauliflower is in season – along with snow and heavy frosts – letting us know that as of June 1 Autumn is finished for another year and it is time to lean into winter.
A few remnants of the final fruits of the autumn still linger, clinging to the branches or lying on the ground returning to the soil – I hope that these will provide compost for the next seasons crop. It is time now though, to light the fire and think about warming winter comfort foods to tempt my friends and family out on cold and stormy evenings.
Cooking a whole cauliflower does offer a few conundrums – such as whether to steam it first or just to let it cook slowly in the oven. At this point I have decided it depends for me on what is going on in the oven and with my time. Steaming, or dare I say it, even steaming in the microwave will definitely hurry the roasting process and allow you to just give it a quick char grill in the oven. But, if you have the oven on anyway it is fine to cook it in there. One tip I would add for total total oven baking is to allow it to soak in a bowl of water while you prepare the ‘marinade’, I think that this helps it steam a little on the inside as it roasts and does speed the process up.
SPICED-UP WHOLE ROAST CAULIFLOWER WITH LEMONY HERB YOGURT
Preheat oven to 180’c
- MARINADE FOR CAULIFLOWER
- 1 whole cauliflower
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds (or 1 1/2 of ground cumin)
- 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds (1 1/2 of ground coriander)
- Pinch of chilli flakes
- 2 teaspoons of paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 clove of garlic
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of olive oil
- YOGHURT SAUCE
- 1 cup of yoghurt (you can use lactose free if necessary)
- Juice of 1/2 a juicy lemon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Handful of herbs such as coriander and or mint
- Chilli if desired to taste
Begin the process by either steaming your cauliflower until it is only just tender OR allowing it to soak covered in water.
If using whole seeds you can now toast these and add to pestle and mortar or grinder.
In the pestle and mortar or a bowl add all other ingredients (finely chop garlic if not using a pestle and mortar) and mix together.
Remove the cauliflower from the water or steamer, place on a baking tray and pour over marinade – reserve a couple of teaspoons to garnish finished dish.
If you have streamed the cauliflower you can turn up the oven to 200’c and roast until golden. Approximately 15-20 minutes
If not steamed, you will roast for approximately 3/4 of an hour or until you can insert a knife and it is tender.
Make the yogurt sauce by adding all ingredients to a bowl and stirring together.
Once the cauliflower is cooked prepare a warm serving platter by pouring half the yoghurt into the centre, then you can put the cooked cauliflower over the yoghurt and pour the remaining yoghurt over. Finish by drizzling over remaining marinade and a scatter of herbs.