Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Whole roasted cauliflower. Simplicity to an extreme. But I really believe that’s what great food is all about. Cooking should just be a way to coax the best qualities of ingredients into the spot light. The less done to it the better. A short par-boil in salt water softens it throughout while flavoring it like you would when cooking pasta. The salt plays up the natural sweetness that balances with the smoky char from time in the oven. It’s a beautiful dish that makes any table spread shine a little brighter.


whole roasted cauliflower

Whole Roasted Cauliflower


  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ground sumac
  • Kosher salt

Tehini sauce

  • 1/3 cup tehini (sesame paste)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove minced or grated
  • pinch of kosher salt


  1. Clean the cauliflower, leaving the outer leaves intact. Choose a large pot that can hold the cauliflower submerged in water and fill ¾ of the way with water. Salt the water so it tastes like the sea. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, put in cauliflower.
  2. Preheat the oven to the highest heat. Check on cauliflower by inserting a knife in the base of the stem. If the knife inserts easily, it is done. Can take up to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the water to drain and cool slightly so it can be handled. Place on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Coat the cauliflower with 1 tbsp using your hands or a basting brush.
  4. Place in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Check periodically and rotate for even roasting.
  5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine ingredients for tehina sauce and stir well. Can be thinned with more water or thickened with additional tehini.
  6. Once the cauliflower is charred, remove from the oven and drizzle with additional olive oil, tahini sauce, and sumac.