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A whole head of golden brown roasted cauliflower covered with nuts and green herbs on a white plate next to a gold fork with slices of cauliflower in front of the head of cauliflower.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower (Ottolenghi-inspired)

  • Author: Bianca
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 head of cauliflower 1x
  • Category: side, main, appetizer
  • Method: oven
  • Diet: Vegan


This perfectly whole roasted cauliflower is vegan and made with only 4 ingredients. This dish is an impressive main course, appetizer or side dish. The simple toppings with tahini, roasted walnuts, and parsley make this cauliflower a centerpiece of the table.



Whole Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 whole cauliflower (medium to large)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ~ 1/4 cup (35 grams) coconut oil, melted at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Tahini Sauce

  • 50 grams (about 3 ½ tablespoons) tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons water (more if needed)
  • optional: ½ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped

to serve the cauliflower with:

  • chopped (roasted) nuts, such as walnuts or pine nuts
  • fresh herbs such as parsley or coriander (finely chopped)
  • tahini sauce


Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Remove the leaves on top of the cauliflower with a knife or your hands. You can leave most of the leaves on the bottom of the head of the cauliflower. They will become crispy after roasting and are delicious.

Wash the head of cauliflower. Fill a pan (large enough to fit the cauliflower) about ¾ with water. Bring to a boil, and then carefully place the cauliflower (head down) in the water. The base will stick out a little bit.

Boil the cauliflower for about 5-10 minutes (depending on the size of the cauliflower).

When the cauliflower is becoming tender (it should not fall apart), remove it from the water and place it in a colander to drain.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/338°F .

In a small bowl, mix the coconut oil, olive oil, and salt.

Place the cauliflower on a lined baking tray (head up) and with a (silicone) pastry brush, spread half of the oil-salt mixture over the cauliflower.

Roast in the oven for about an hour, then remove from the oven and spread the remaining oil-salt mixture over the cauliflower. Roast again for 30 min to an hour, depending on the size of the cauliflower.

The cauliflower is ready when it is really tender and golden brown. The leaves should be crispy and can be charred.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes.

Drizzle the tahini sauce over the cauliflower, followed by chopped walnuts and fresh parsley, mint or coriander.

Cut into thick slices or pull apart with your hands.

Tahini Sauce

Pour the tahini into a small bowl, followed by lemon juice, salt, and water. Mix to combine. Add more water and whisk to combine until the sauce is smooth and runny.

Add more tahini if you have added too much water and the tahini sauce is too thin. If the sauce is too thick, add more water (tablespoon by tablespoon) until creamy.


  • Tahini sauce or yogurt sauce
    A simple tahini sauce is delicious to serve with this cauliflower recipe. You can make a bigger batch for other recipes (such as salads). This sauce keeps in the fridge for up to 4 days.If you don’t have time to make the tahini sauce, you can drizzle the cauliflower with lemon juice and a bit of vegan yogurt or heavy cream. You could also cover it with melted vegan cheese instead of this tahini sauce. The possibilities are endless.
  • Less oil
    Oil is an essential part of this recipe to make it soft and tender, but it is possible to make it with less oil. Replace half of the coconut oil with soy sauce.
  • Make ahead/keep leftovers
    The tahini sauce can be made a few days ahead and kept in the fridge for a few days. Whole roasted cauliflower can be made ahead too. You can boil the cauliflower 4 days before to save time. You can also roast the whole cauliflower 4 days before and warm it in the oven before serving.
    Whole roasted cauliflower can be kept in the fridge for 4 days. It can be reheated in the oven again. When the cauliflower has become dry in the refrigerator, cover it with a bit of oil again.

Keywords: whole roasted cauliflower, cauliflower, side dish, main dish, appetizer