I’ve been dying to try out a whole roasted cauliflower since I had one for the first time in a restaurant in Liverpool last month. Eating out can be a challenge when you prefer to eat both vegan and gluten-free, so I was delighted when I saw the cauliflower dish on the menu – it came coated with harissa, tahini, toasted almonds and fresh herbs and was deliciously tender. I figured it can be dressed up any way you like and would make a fantastic vegan alternative to a classic Christmas roast.
Now in my opinion, cauliflower is a vegetable that doesn’t get enough attention. It is extremely versatile and can be turned into pizza crust, rice, crackers and even desserts. This powerhouse cruciferous vegetable is also a known cancer-fighter that helps the liver to remove excess oestrogen from the body. This recipe appreciates cauliflower in its original form (minus a few leaves) spiced up with digestive spices and fresh seasonal herbs. I’ve also added cranberries, a Christmas favourite, to give it an extra kick and added antioxidants. Cranberries help your tummy tackle heavy complex foods that are difficult digest, making this the perfect dish for maintaining a healthy digestive system.
Serve alongside all of your favourite Christmas trimmings!
Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Cranberries (VE, GF)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- A handful of fresh sage
- A handful of fresh thyme
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp all spice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 60g fresh cranberries
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- A handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp tahini
- Pre-heat your oven to 190 degrees C.
- Bash together the garlic cloves, sage, most of the thyme, nutmeg and all spice in a pestle and mortar until it forms a rough paste. Mix in 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Prepare your cauliflower: remove the outer leaves and rub the florets all over with your paste. Place in a small baking tray or casserole dish, pour over the lemon juice and cover with tin foil. Cook in the oven for around 1 hour, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce. Mix together 1 tbsp tahini with 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp water and set aside.
- Prepare your cranberries: put them in a bowl with the maple syrup and 2 tbsp water, making sure they’re completely coated.
- Once the cauliflower is tender, add the cranberries to the baking dish with the remaining sprigs of thyme and return to the oven uncovered for a further 20 minutes.
- When the cauliflower is ready, remove from the oven, top with fresh parsley, drizzle with the tahini sauce and carve up! Serve with the cranberries on the side.