Unquestionably, cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables. Cooked well, it adds a delicious Earthy flavour and beautiful texture to a meal. Growing up, sometimes as a treat, we would have a whole-cooked cauliflower with cheese sauce or even more decadent, a cheesy cauliflower and potato bake. Building upon this memory, I have developed my Ayurvedic approach to the whole-cooked cauliflower using a slow-roasting method with coconut and lemon, dressing the masterpiece with a beautifully spiced coconut yoghurt and fresh herbs. This dish can be served simply with your meal, creating a fancy side for a beautifully cooked piece of protein, a curry, some other vegetables or even rice dish like Pilaf or Biryani.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
1 medium or large whole cauliflower, greens and stalk trimmed off (you can add these to another dish later)
2-3 tbs melted coconut oil
Himalayan pink rock salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Juice of 1 large lemon
A small handful of both fresh mint and coriander, finely chopped
A large handful of toasted sunflower and pepita seeds
1 cup plain coconut yoghurt
Juice 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp ground cumin powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Baharat (Middle Eastern Spice Blend) or Zaatar
1/2 tsp maple syrup
Pre-heat the oven to 190 celsius fan-forced or 200 degrees celsius with no fan.
Line a roasting tray with baking paper and put your cauliflower in the centre.
Using your hands, rub roughly 1-1/2 tbs coconut oil, plus a generous crack of salt and pepper onto the cauliflower. Ensure it is coated well.
Place into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.
While your cauliflower is roasting away, time to make the dressing.
Place a small frying pan onto low-medium heat and add the spices.
Stir frequently for 1-2 minutes until the spices have become activated and aromatic. Take off the heat to cool.
In a small bowl, add the coconut yoghurt, lemon juice and maple syrup. Combine well with a spoon.
Add the cooled spice mix to the yoghurt, plus some more salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Take out the cauliflower after 45 minutes and using two forks, gently open the crevices a little.
Now add roughly another tablespoon of coconut oil to the cauliflower, coating it well with the back of a spoon.
Add the juice of 1 lemon in the same manner, squeezing it over the whole cauliflower and into the crevices.
Put it back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
After this time, take the cauliflower back out for one final dress.
Coat the cauliflower entirely with approximately 1/3 of the yoghurt dressing.
Place back in the oven and roast for another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and check to ensure the cauliflower is soft to the touch and cooked completely. If not, let it cook for another 5 minutes or so.
Prepare a large plate or platter, and place the cauliflower in the middle. Dress with the rest of the yoghurt dressing, fresh herbs and toasted seeds.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
With love and light,
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