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whole roasted cauliflower with a parsley sauce

whole roasted cauliflowerDo you remember eating cauliflower when you were a kid?  I do.  My favorite was smothered in my mom’s homemade cheddar cheese sauce.  Come to think of it, I don’t think I really liked cauliflower; I loved the cheese sauce!  Fast forward to my adult years and I have served cauliflower many ways and fondly enough, not smothered in cheese sauce.  I’ve roasted cauliflower pieces but never a whole roasted cauliflower – well, come to think of it, not strictly true.  Back in 2009 I baked a whole Romanesco cauliflower in a tomato sauce and that was a big hit.  There are recipes out there that suggest steaming the veggie first or parboiling it but I feel that’s more work than is needed.  The easiest is to chuck it in the oven, dressed with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and leave the magic to the roasting.  When it’s cooked, and this is personal to each individual, remove from oven and divvy it up or slather a sauce over it.  If you like the former, use my recipe…it’s the pièce de résistance.

You might stop dead in your tracks when you read there are anchovies in the dressing but fear not. The thought of adding anchovies to anything used to bother me until I took a cooking lesson from my lovely Italian friend, Francesca.  She would tell me, “my dear, you haven’t lived or experienced Italian food if you haven’t tasted anchovies!”.  That was 16 years ago; I am no longer a stranger to the small fish.  The flavor of anchovies shines best when tempered with other foods.

whole roasted cauliflower with a parsley sauce
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Serves: 4 to 6

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • parsley sauce –
  • ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic (make into a paste – instructions in note)
  • 1 to 2 oil packed anchovies, minced
  • 1 teaspoon or more of lime or lemon juice
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400f (200c). Grab a cooking vessel large enough to hold the cauliflower. Remove any manky-looking leaves and cut the stem off to help balance the vegetable. Place cauliflower in vessel and smother with olive oil (use your hands to massage it all over) followed by a generous grinding of sea salt and black pepper. Move to oven and roast 60 minutes or longer depending on how soft you like it. Allow the cauliflower to rest a few minutes before serving.
  2. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the sauce. In a small bowl combine all ingredients except olive oil. Slowly add olive oil while stirring until emulsified. Cut chunks of the cauliflower and distribute among plates. Drizzle with sauce and serve.


whole cauliflowerroasted cauliflowerThe Culinary Chase’s Note:   To make garlic paste, chop garlic cloves and add a pinch of sea salt.  Using the flat side of a knife, push the salt into the garlic.  Repeat push and scrape movements back over garlic and within seconds you’ll see how the chopped garlic quickly turns into a paste.  Scrape up with the knife and add to the dressing.   Enjoy!

About Heather Chase

The Culinary Chase was coined by my husband whilst in a coffee shop in Hong Kong back in 2006. We wanted something that would be a play on my last name and by the time we finished our coffee, the name was born. As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed cooking. It wasn’t until we moved to Asia that I began to experiment using herbs and spices in my everyday cooking. Not only do they enhance the flavor of food but also heighten it nutritionally. Over the years, I began to change our diet to include more vegetables, pulses, whole grains and less red meat. Don’t get me wrong, we love our meat, just not in super-size portions (too hard for the body to digest). I always use the palm of my hand as a guide to portion control when eating red meat. If the meat is larger than my hand, I save that portion for another day. Also, if the veggies on your plate look colorful (think the colors of the rainbow) – red, green, yellow, orange etc. then you’re most likely getting the right amount of nutrients per meal. I post recipes that I think help maintain a healthy body. I use the 80/20 rule – 80% of the time I make a conscious effort to eat healthy and 20% for when I want french fries with gravy (poutine). Balance is the key and to enjoy life with whatever comes my way. Thanks for visiting!


The views and opinions expressed in this content are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of haligonia.ca.


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