Whole Roast Cauliflower with Romesco Sauce

Cook Time 2 hours

Servings 4


1 large head cauliflower
Extra virgin olive oil

Romesco Sauce
1 large red capsicum
3 tomatoes
2 thick slices of sourdough, lightly toasted and torn into pieces
2 large garlic cloves
½ cup almonds, toasted, plus more for serving
1 tsp chilli flakes
Small handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

To serve
2 tbsp poppy seeds, lightly toasted
2 tbsp sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted


Preheat the oven to 180°C and place a small baking dish of hot water in the bottom of the oven to create some steam so the cauliflower is nice and moist. Discard any outer leaves from the cauliflower and use a small sharp knife to cut off the bottom stem and then carefully cut out some of the core.

Give the cauliflower a rinse under cold water, place it core side down in a baking dish and use your hands to rub the entire surface area of the cauliflower with the extra virgin olive oil and salt. Place the baking dish in the oven and cook for 1-2 hours or until the cauliflower is golden in colour and can easily be pierced with a small knife. Baste the cauliflower while it's cooking a couple of times with a little more extra virgin olive oil.

For the romesco sauce: Place the capsicum and tomatoes in a baking tray and place in the oven at the same time as the cauliflower. Cook until the skins are slightly charred (about 20 minutes), then remove and pop into a bowl covered with plastic wrap and allow to sweat and cool. Use your fingers to remove the skin and seeds from the cooled capsicum and tomatoes.

Add the garlic cloves and almonds to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced. Add the bread and chili and blitz to a paste. Scrape down the side and add the tomatoes, capsicum, parsley, paprika, a pinch of salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. While the motor is running add the vinegar and the extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream until you get the consistency you are after. 

To serve, smear a generous amount of the romesco sauce over the base of a large serving plate and place the roasted cauliflower on top. Scatter over the seeds and toasted almonds and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


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