Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Tahini Dressing

Cauliflowers, roasted whole, have become a fashionable item for sometime – perhaps you might say it is going out of fashion, along with cauliflower steaks. But riced cauliflower still makes a regular appearance and I am glad about that – late onto the bandwagon as usual, I tried it for the first time recently and it is quite amazing.

So it is a surprise that Ottolenghi has a roasted whole cauliflower recipe in his new book Simple. And simple it is – par boiled then roasted with butter and oil before serving with a green tahini sauce. Elements of Ottolenghi, without all the hoohaa of his other books.

In a way, though, it is shockingly simple. It almost doesn’t feel quite right, doesn’t feel quite  like Ottolenghi. Even the style of the book has changed – the texture is different (different papers used), the layout is different. I am in 2 minds about the style changes – I wanted it to have all the lux of over-the-top Ottolenghi cookbooks, but with simpler recipes.

The book defines simple in 6 different ways (the first letters of which spell out SIMPLE), and each recipe is labelled to indicate which of these various simplicities it belongs to. For me, the most important simplicity is S ie Short on Time. In my household, somewhere between 6 and 8 dishes are made daily, so spending a minimum of 1 hour on an Ottolenghi dish does not make efficiency sense, even though we might adore the dish. HOWEVER, in defence of Ottolenghi’s other books, they contain recipes that can be a whole meal. That is not the case in Simple. TBH, you’d have to make 2 or 3 dishes to make a whole meal from Simple, or pair one dish with other plates of food.

Another first impression is that, reading through Simple, many of the recipes feel like half-recipes. That is not a criticism! It is a comment on the way he layers textures and flavours in his other books, and thus the simplicity of this book shocks! For example, take Whole Roasted Cauli. I might have expected Roasted Cauli, pureed, with cooked and toasted chickpeas, a tahini dressing and herb oil topped with baby falafel with a sumac dust. No, wait! That actually sounds great! (makes note to self). But here in Simple, we have only the cauliflower with a tahini dressing. It does make the recipes very accessible for weeknight cooking. And, for all its simplicity, this dish is a cracker!

Again, the comments on simplicity are not a criticism, it is an emotional response. We all have these when confronted with change. During my project of cooking Plenty More I often lamented the complexity (especially of time) and hankered after some Elizabeth David recipes. I have my wish now, although perhaps the style of Simple is a little like Elizabeth David on a small dose of steroids. She can specify recipes in 2 or 3 lines. Ottolenghi still takes a page or 2 for each dish.

Truthfully, I can’t wait to dive into this book and get to know it as intimately as I know the others.

“I like to serve this in the centre of the table, for people to share with drinks at the start of a meal. We break the cauliflower apart with our hands, dip the individual florets and crisp green leaves into the sauce and sprinkle with salt.”

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking through Plenty More (nearly finished), but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include A Plate of Cauliflower, Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, and Cauliflower Roasted with Mustard Seeds and Curry Leaves.

Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. As we cook more, you will find all of our dishes from Simple here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil

I roasted cauliflower for my daughter one day and she was delighted. She was not a fan of cauli, but eating it roasted was another experience. It changed her cauli-eating life.

Roasted cauliflower has a sweet, intense, nutty flavour.

This is the barest of recipes, to give you the gist of roasting cauliflower. And then you can play with it in any way that you like. Add toasted hazelnuts. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses. Throw tons of herbs at it. Roast garlic with it. Make a herb oil and drizzle over it. Eat hot. Cool it to room temperature and make a salad out of it. Add to pasta. Put it on a mezze or antipasto platter. Put in a tomato sauce. Or, eat it just as it is.

Are you after other Cauliflower recipes? Try Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Tahini Dressing, Aloo Gobi, Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Lime and Spices, and A Plate of Cauliflower.

You can browse all of our Cauliflower recipes and our roasted dishes. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes. Enjoy!

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Cauliflower Roasted with Black Mustard Seed, Cumin Seed and Curry Leaves

Today we take some cauliflower and toss it in oil in which black mustard seeds and cumin seeds have been popped, and curry leaves which have been allowed to sizzle, then roast the florets until gorgeously brown. It is a little bit of South India on a Western plate.

What’s not to like about Roasted Cauliflower? This one is terrific. The hit of lime juice at the end is a winner, lifting and freshening the dish.

Similar recipes include Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Zaatar, Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree, and Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and explore our Mid Spring collection of recipes.

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Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Nuts or Zaatar

How good a whole head of cauli looks, sitting in the crisper drawers of the fridge. Such an unassuming vegetable, not assertive at all even with that fascinating form. But it elicits feelings of joy and comfort. Mostly a winter vegetable, it has uses well into Spring time. And here we are, a week from Summer (as I write), making soup from roasted cauliflower. The weather is cool.

The cauliflower could be roasted in the oven, of course, but it is Spring time, so we light the covered BBQ, and roast it in a large pan until really caramelised. The stock gets made while the cauli cooks, and finally it is all blended together. Today, we topped the soup with zaatar, but you could top it with toasted and chopped hazelnuts or walnuts, croutons, or slices of garlic that have been crispy fried.

Similar recipes include Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Tahini Dressing, Cream of Mushroom Soup, Indian Style Roasted Cauliflower, Crispy Cauliflower with Capers, Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, and Cauliflower Walnut Cream Soup.

Please browse our other Cauliflower recipes, and our Soups. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad with Pomegranate

In this memorable salad from Ottolenghi and Tamimi’s Jerusalem, roasted Cauliflower, Celery and Hazelnuts are combined with Pomegranate, fresh Parsley, and warming spices. A sweet-tart vinaigrette finishes it off.

When we roast cauliflower, we make a whole lot, often 2 – 3 trays, and it is used for Cauliflower Soup, Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Yoghurt Dressing, and this salad. Roasted cauliflower is one of the best ways to use this gorgeous winter vegetable.

Similar recipes include Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Tahini Dressing, Burghul and Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts, Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, Indian Style Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Cheddar Salad, and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Spices and Lime.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, all of our Ottolenghi dishes and all of our Salads. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

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Crispy Cauliflower with Tahini Yoghurt Sauce

This Cauliflower dish is a take on a classic Israeli and Lebanese recipe in Ottolenghi and Tammi’s book Jerusalam. I have twisted it up just a little to suit us and our friends, but I have to tell you that this is a favourite dish in our circle. I love it partly because it is very quick to make if you roast the cauliflower. Ottolenghi deep fries it (and that is delicious) but often time is a real factor in this household. So the cauliflower is roasted when we need awesome dishes in quick-sticks time. We can get on with other things while the roasting happens. I have to say, though, that deep frying gives the cauli beautiful crispy exteriors and cooks the interior just enough to be amazing.

Tahini features in creative ways in Israel, in both simple eateries and upmarket restaurants. For these types of dishes, grab good tahini from your Middle Eastern grocers – you won’t go back to the supermarket shelves, and they have a smoothness not available in the Greek brands. Choose a light-coloured tahini made from hulled sesame seeds.

The tahini sauce, thick and wonderfully rich, is the focal point of this dish. I use about 3/4 of Ottolenghi’s sauce with the cauliflower, and the rest is put to use as dips and salad dressings. This dish fits perfectly in any mezze selection, makes a great substantial meal when served with fresh tomato salad and a warm pitta, or is an excellent side for many meals.

Similar dishes include Cauliflower Shawarma, Indian Style Roasted CauliflowerCrispy Cauliflower with Capers, Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts and PomegranateRoasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree,  and Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lemon and Spices.

Also try Miso Sesame Dressing, Green Tahini Sauce, White Beans with Tahini, and Tahina Tarator.

Browse all of our Cauliflower recipes, and dishes where tahini features. Our dips and sauces are here. Explore our Israeli dishes, all of our wonderful Salads, and check out or Early Spring collection of recipes.

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Roasted Cauliflower, Grape and Creamy Cheddar Salad

A perfect wintery cauliflower salad

A lazy Sunday Lunch with my Father included this great Wintery salad with roasted cauliflower. Easy to make, this Ottolenghi salad can be partly prepared earlier, to mix and serve at the table. It is from Ottolenghi’s book Plenty.

You might like other Cauliflower recipes – Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, Cauliflower Shawarma, Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts and PomegranateCrispy Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing, Pasta with a Cauliflower Sauce, A Plate of Cauliflower, and Cauliflower Slow Cooked in Oil with Lime and Spices.

Also try Grain and Grape Salad.

Browse all of the Cauliflower recipes, all of our Salads, and all of our Ottolenghi recipes. Or find inspiration in our easy Early Winter recipes.

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Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Puree | Dip, Sauce and Spread

Cauliflowers were so cheap and I bought a huge one, three times bigger than others. After making the Green Pea Soup (which has cauliflower in it), I estimated there were still 6 more dishes possible from this one cauliflower!

Today’s cauli dish is a beautiful puree of roasted cauliflower with cannellini beans. You can also use chickpeas.

Are you looking for other Cauliflower recipes? Try Aloo Gobi, A Plate of Cauliflower, and Cauliflower Slow Cooked with Lime and Spices.

What about some other Purees? Try White Bean Puree with Harissa, Fava Bean Puree with Dill and Olive Oil, Spiced Tomato Puree, Georgian Coriander and Walnut Spread and Home Made Tomato Paste.

White Beans feature in White Bean and Tahini Salad, White Bean Soup, and Glorious Five Bean Salad.

Or browse all of our Cauliflower dishes and all of our Purees. Or take some time to explore our Early Winter dishes.

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