Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan-Almond-Cilantro Sauce

By Lynn N Bennett
October 16, 2016
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan-Almond-Cilantro Sauce

Author Notes: This is adapted from a NY Times recipe. It is so easy and a killer way to make cauliflower. Just melts in your mouth. My husband requests it all the time when we have guests or a special dinner at homeLynn N Bennett

Serves: 4


For the Cauliflower:

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds, toasted
  • 1 can anchovy filets (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for basting
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • salt and ground black pepper


  1. Place a cast iron skillet in the oven and heat to 375 degrees. Place a small pan of hot water on the floor of the oven to create steam (I always forget to do this so don't worry if you skip this step),
  2. Break off and discard the outer leaves of the cauliflower. Rinse the cauliflower (leave the water clinging to it) and rub with olive oil until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the cauliflower in the hot pan, core side down and cook until very tender all the way through when pierced with a knife., usually one to two hours. I usually roast mine two hours and get a good crisp crust on it. Be sure to baste the cauliflower with olive oil occasionally to keep it from drying out.
  4. Soak anchovies, if using, for 5 minutes in milk or cool water. Rinse and pat dry.
  5. In a food processor, combine all sauce ingredients and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  6. Spoon some of the sauce on the top of the cauliflower a few minutes before you remove from the oven.
  7. Serve cauliflower in the skillet or from a serving plate. Cut into wedges and spoon sauce over each wedge

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1 Comment

Nina February 7, 2018
Just made this recipe this evening and it was fabulous! The lemon juice and zest brightens up the dish and is a real improvement on the NY Times recipe which I also have tried.