When you roast cauliflower with a delicious spice mix it turns into something special. Add chickpeas and a zesty dressing for a vegetarian delight.
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COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Smart swap: Don’t have any chickpeas in the cupboard? These flavours would work with any of your favourite legumes like lentils, butter beans or cannellini beans.
Use it up: Why not use the other half of your red onion and make some guacamole?
Leftover roasted cauliflower could be used in this roasted cauliflower dahl recipe.
It was once seen as a bland vegetable that was to be feared by children unless smothered in a rich cheesy sauce. Cauliflower has had a real change of image over recent years. The rise in popularity has resulted in the emergence of cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizzas and cauliflower … everything!
Not only is roasted whole cauliflower low in carbs, a good source of fibre and high in folate, this humble veggie lends itself to a range of different dishes thanks to its mild flavour giving it the ability to soak up flavours from spices or sauces added to it. The other wonderful thing about cauliflower is how it becomes delightfully sweet and tender once roasted.
The idea of roasting a head of cauliflower has been around for a while now and is commonly featured as the centrepiece of vegetarian menus at Christmas and other occasions. Thanks can be given to well-known chefs for releasing their versions of the dish, like Curtis Stone’s whole cauliflower roast with capsicum and coriander.
In Australia, cauliflower is available year-round, but they’re at their peak during autumn. Cauliflowers are a member of the Brassica family, meaning they are close relatives to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbages. Like many members of the brassica family they work deliciously in a variety of dishes including curries, this easy cauliflower stir-fried rice and stews. Cauliflower roasted whole not only complements the flavours in a dish, but it will also absorb other flavours added. It can be served alongside meat dishes for extra fibre and vegetable content, or it can provide bulk in vegetarian dishes like in this selection of vegan cauliflower recipes.
When choosing the spices for cauliflower rub, it’s important to consider other pairings that will be served with it. There aren’t any spices that won’t work with cauliflower, but there are spices that work best together than others. This spiced cauliflower recipe uses the classic combination of cumin, coriander and paprika that is commonly found in Moroccan, Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisines. With the addition of dried cranberries, fresh parsley and lemon juice in the salad, this recipe leans into Middle Eastern flavours.
Creating a paste-like mixture with the spices in butter or oil first will ensure the spice rub can be spread evenly over your cauliflower roast. It also helps the mixture soak into the veggie and stop the cauliflower from drying out as it roasts.
While this recipe uses canned chickpeas, if you have a bag of dried chickpeas in the pantry you could use them instead. Dried chickpeas will need some pre-planning, however, as they need to be soaked and cooked before being added to the salad. Follow the instructions on the back of the packet to ensure the chickpeas are cooked properly before adding them to the salad.
If you are including this dish as part of a wider banquet or Christmas lunch it can be served as an attractive centrepiece in the middle of the table and allow everyone to cut and serve themselves.
If serving this roasted cauliflower head as a tasty vegetarian family meal you can quarter the cauliflower and dish it out for the family before serving it on the table.
Taking it along to a barbecue? You could either serve it whole for guests to cut their own or cut the cauliflower into chunks to make life easier for your mates. Whichever way you serve it, you’re bound to get guests asking for more.
The combination of sweet and savoury flavours in this roasted cauliflower recipe means it works well with a variety of other flavours. If you’re serving it as part of a wider spread then this recipe will create an ideal accompaniment to a Middle Eastern-style lamb or a one-pan slow-roasted chicken.