Whole Roasted Cumin Cauliflower


Whole Roasted Cumin Cauliflower

A whole roasted cauliflower is a beautiful thing and it makes for the most stunning veggie centrepiece. This one is brushed with cumin olive oil and roasted until caramelised and tender. It’s served over muhammara, a Syrian red pepper and walnut dip, and topped with a fresh, zingy herb salad. Because herbs salads are delicious and refreshing and should be more of a thing.

  • Author: zenak
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x



For the cauliflower:

  • 2 medium cauliflowers, leaves removed and stalk trimmed (see Notes for how to use the leftover cauliflower leaves)
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds

For the cheat’s muhammara:

  • 460g jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 75g walnuts
  • 75g fresh bread, crust removed (I used ciabatta)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pul biber (aka aleppo pepper)
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsp ground cumin

For the herb salad:

  • 10g fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 10g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 10g fresh mint, leaves picked
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Heat your oven to 220°C / fan 200°C.
  2. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to the boil (you want the water to be sea-level salty, much like when cooking pasta). Boil the cauliflowers for 4 minutes then leave to steam-dry for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the extra-virgin olive oil and cumin seeds with a good pinch of freshly-ground black pepper.
  4. Pat the cauliflowers dry with kitchen towel and brush with the cumin oil then roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until caramelised on the outside and tender in the centre.
  5. Meanwhile, place the cheat’s muhammara ingredients in a food processor with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Blitz until smooth-ish. Refrigerate until ready to use. Note: the muhamarra will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  6. Take the cauliflower out of the oven. Combine the herb salad ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and toss gently with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. To assemble, spread the muhammara onto a large plate. Top with the cauliflower and herb salad then serve and enjoy.


Don’t throw away the cauliflower leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and your spices of choice and roast at 200°C for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

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