Whole Roasted Cauliflower

wholeroastedcauliflower4I mentioned a few posts back that I’ve recently received a free subscription to Bon Appetit magazine. While it caters to an omnivorous readership, there are always a few recipes per issue that can be modified into a vegan dish with just a few adjustments. This delicious Whole Roasted Cauliflower is one of them.

This is now my family’s favorite way to do cauliflower. Not only is it simple to prepare, it’s immensely flavorful and fun to eat! One of my pet peeves with preparing cauliflower is how the little florets and bits get all over the place when chopping it up. I’m a tidy cook if you know what I mean, so this does not fly with me too well. But with this recipe, all you need to do is trim off the green leaves and you’re done. I also love this dish because once it’s placed into the oven to roast, your hands are free to prepare the other elements of your meal. And finally, the kids love cutting into the whole head of cauliflower and slicing off a tender, succulent piece of their own. This dish is an absolute treat and a sure crowd pleaser.

Oh, and did I mention the broth you make to boil the cauliflower in is the same broth used in my recent post for Fettuccine with Sweet Peas, Kale and Corn? So either prepare these two dishes on the same night or save the broth from the cauliflower, refrigerate it, and then reheat it to make the Fettuccine later in the week. Gotta love twofer recipes!

I’ve included the ingredients for an optional Cheesy Gravy that tastes amazing drizzled over this dish. Serve it on the side for those who want that extra kick of flavor.

Here’s what you’ll need.

For the cauliflower:

  • 2-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (if your family is sensitive to heat, decrease according to taste)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed
  • olive oil for drizzling

For the optional Cheesy Gravy:

  • 3 tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • dash of thyme
  • dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste


Your cauliflower should look like this once the leaves have been removed.

Your cauliflower should look like this once the leaves have been removed.

Preheat your oven to 475. In a large pot, bring the wine, oil, salt, lemon juice, vegan butter, red pepper flakes, sugar, bay leaf and water to a boil.  Add the whole cauliflower, then reduce heat and simmer, turning the cauliflower occasionally, until it is tender. This should take about 15-20 minutes and you should be able to easily insert a knife into the center when it’s ready.

Carefully remove the cauliflower, allowing it to drain well, and place it onto a rimmed baking sheet. Remember to save your broth to make my Fettuccine with Sweet Peas, Kale and Corn!

Roast it in the oven, rotating the baking sheet halfway through, until it’s brown all over. This should take about 30-40 minutes.

[In the meantime, if preparing the Cheesy Gravy: In a medium saucepan, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat. Add in the flour and salt, mixing well, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in the soy milk. Cook until the mixture has thickened. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, thyme, black pepper and sea salt and continue to stir until well combined.]

Once the cauliflower is fully roasted, transfer it to a plate and drizzle with olive oil and if you’d like, a little bit of sea salt. Serve with the Cheesy Gravy and enjoy!

wholeroastedcauliflower3Happy eating!