Cheesy baked cauliflower is a great side for entertaining. Irresistibly golden and packed with flavour, this whole-veg dish will please the entire crowd.
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Trim the stem of the cauliflower so that it sits flat and place on the lined tray. Combine the oil and garlic in a small bowl. Season. Brush two-thirds of the oil mixture over the cauliflower. Bake for 50 mins or until the cauliflower is almost tender.
Whole baked cauliflower is a vegetarian dish that burst onto the scene in the last five years and has really taken the culinary world by storm. Cauliflower had a bit of a time in the sun being made into rice, pizza crusts and more, however, the real star was turning the cruciferous vegetable into a roast masterpiece. Oven baked cauliflower goes tender and sweet and gets a gorgeous flavour and texture. Whether it’s cauliflower baked with a umami miso dressing, a baked cauliflower with fresh and zesty pesto or one like this baked cauliflower and cheese, there is a recipe for baked cauliflower to suit most tastes.
While the oven-baked cauliflower is really having its moment now, its origins come from Israeli celebrity chef, Eyal Shani. The appeal of this dish is pretty clear – it makes an attractive centrepiece at the table, it’s delicious and it’s an easy vegetarian dish with all the impressive style of a gorgeous roast. The original Israeli oven-baked cauliflower was served with a fragrant cashew sauce, however, this version combines the classic combination of cauliflower and cheese that is more commonly seen in a gratin or similar baked side dish. Cauliflower cheese sees the popular vegetable chopped into small florets and smothered in a creamy cheese sauce, while this version keeps the cauliflower whole before baking.
One of the tricky (and fun) parts is deciding what to serve alongside your baked cauliflower.
This recipe for whole baked cauliflower would work just as well as part of an epic feast with roast lamb, vegetables and salads, as it would as the main dish served with a simple couscous or other grain salad. Cauliflower is a super-versatile vegetable that works with a variety of different flavours, so you can pair this baked cauliflower recipe with almost any of your favourite dishes. The cheesy cauliflower would work with a fresh and herby pesto pasta on the side or with your favourite pumpkin salad.
Fallen in love with baked whole cauliflower? Now that you know how to bake cauliflower, from this cheesy cauliflower version, why not try Curtis Stone’s whole cauliflower roast with capsicum and coriander, which makes an impressive vegetarian meal, or Courtney Roulston’s cauliflower steak with carrot hummus.
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