Roast Cauliflower with Raisins and Parsley dressing

People generally avoid cauliflower, even vegetarians.  It’s so easy to over boil it until it’s grey, limp and malodorous.  That is why unless you are a wizard with timing and know how to judge the crucial moment to whisk it out of the boiling water and plunge into cold water to stop the cooking, I recommend roasting.

Roasting is my favorite way to cook cauliflower.  It will convert even the most skeptical of eaters.  The trick is to make sure the cauliflower is as dry as possible before roasting.  I like to give it a rinse and then let it hang out in my dish rack for an hour while I do something else.  Then, cut into bite size pieces reserving 1 large floret and tossing the rest in a large bowl with salt, cumin (1/2 a tsp) and olive oil.  Use your fingers and do your best to ensure each floret is evenly coated in salty olive oil.  Take the reserved floret and cut thin “slices” so you end up with cauliflower “crumbs” when you get to the stalk, turn to the other side and cut some more crumbs.  Reserve the crumbs for later.

Upend the cauliflower into a large roasting tin and cook for around 30-45 minutes at 200°C until the florets are tender with browned edges.

Steep 2 tablespoons of raisins in boiling water while the cauliflower cooks.

Whisk 4 tablespoons of olive oil into 2 tablespoons of Sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar). Finely chop one clove of garlic and add that to the dressing.  Take a bunch of parsley, pick the leaves off the stems and discard the stems.  Finely chop the parsley mix into the vinegar and oil.  Any left over is wonderful with fish, poultry even pork.

To assemble the dish.  Scatter the roasted florets on a flat plate.  Sprinkle on the plump raisins, the cauliflower crumbs and generously drizzle on the parsley dressing.

1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 a teaspoon of cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of raisins, steeped in boiling water
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of Sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
4 tablespoons of olive oil


  1. says

    I make cauliflower all the time. I throw it into boiling pasta water 5 minutes before pasta is cooked. Then I add fresh pesto and parmesan.
    I make cauliflower soup with white miso so it does not turn grey and I make cauliflower ‘mashed potatoes’ with nutmeg and turnips – and all of this my kids eat!
    This recipe does looks yummy as well…

  2. says

    Is that a pomegranate I see in your photo? Perhaps you thought of adding the seeds to the cauliflower dish, which looks very tasty and very healthy. I love pureed cauliflower. I will have to try roasting it next time.


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