What is a Cauliflower?
A cauliflower is a vegetable that can be a good source of vitamins and nutrients for the body. Its name is directly translated as “cabbage flower” in Italian. It is fibrous and full of antioxidants that help combat cancer. Another good thing about the cauliflower is that since it does not have that much flavor, it absorbs flavors well and that is why the Whole Roasted Cauliflower recipe is one of the simplest dutch oven dishes you can come across.
Why Roast Cauliflower?
Boiling is a common way to cook cauliflower but one downside to that is that the nutrients are no longer intact and will be “part of the soup” and the benefits of eating it may be halved, especially when overcooked. So, the main reason why people love to roast it is to let it absorb flavors and maintain its nutrients as well as to get that crunchy roasted flavor that is delicious and fulfilling.
One of the best tips in cooking the whole head of the cauliflower is if you’d want everything to be cooked inside and out so it would be best to have it half-cooked with water or vegetable stock before putting the sauce and then roasting it.
Preparing the Cauliflower
Step 1: Preheat oven at 400℉.
Step 2: Clean and wash the cauliflower head by first removing the leaves and then cutting the main stem but leaving everything intact.
Step 3: In a saucepan, put in some water and turmeric powder with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil for about 10-15 minutes. Once cauliflower is somewhat half-cooked, turn off heat and set aside.
Step 4: In a large bowl, mix the garlic powder, ginger, turmeric powder, cumin, yogurt. Salt, black pepper, lemon/orange juice and lemon/orange zest and paprika/chili powder. Mix everything well.
Step 5: Get the half-cooked cauliflower and put sauce all over it using a pastry brush or your hands. Make sure to turn it upside down and pour the sauce so the insides would also absorb the flavor.
Step 6: In a dutch oven or glass baking dish, put a foil over and then the cauliflower head with the rest of the sauce.
Step 7: Bake it at 400℉ for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Once ready take it out of the oven and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.
Step 8: Serve and enjoy!
- You can serve it on a plate garnished with chopped cilantro, parsley or basil leaves.
- If you don’t want to boil it you may also cook it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper then put together the sauce afterward and put it back in the oven for the rest of the 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- If you don’t want to put it in the oven twice, put a baking dish filled with water underneath the oven so it will steam and help in making the cauliflower tender and you can bake it for 1hr and 15 minutes at 400℉.
- Other variations include adding parmesan cheese or potato wedges along the side which you may experiment on.
We have enlisted 2 videos that show the simplest ways to roast the whole cauliflower head. You can roast it one time big time or have it half-cooked by boiling and roasted after. The recipe is not just tied to one way and it can be cooked in a lot of different ways.
Nutritional Facts of Cauliflowers
As mentioned earlier, cauliflowers are rich in vitamins and nutrients. They can replace whole grain and legumes in your diet or you can squeeze them in your dietary plan. They have a good amount of vitamin K which strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis, especially for women. They also have an effect of lessening inflammation and assists in rapid cell growth and repair.
Here is a list of nutrients that they contain:
Pantothenic acid (B5)
White (Snowball Y) – The most common type of cauliflower and is the one commonly used as a cooking ingredient, be it half or whole. This is the variety that’s easiest to grow and has a nutty, sweet flavor to it.
Green (Romanesco) – It almost looks like the broccoli except that its head is formed with spiral curds unlike its white counterpart. It is sometimes called broccoflower since it looks like to be a combination of the two.
Orange (Cheddar) – This variety is rich with beta carotene and that is why it has the orange pigment. It has a denser texture and richer flavor than the white variety. It is a little heavy, too.
Purple (Purple of Sicily) – The one with the sweetest and most refined flavor of all varieties. It has a very bright purple color and has natural insect repellent and is most nutritiously rare and it turns green when cooked.
If you are having a hard time thinking of what to cook for your next meal, grab a cauliflower and try the whole roasted cauliflower recipe. It’s one of the healthiest vegetarian dinners that is lovable and very easy to prepare. I hope this has inspired you to create good meals in your home. Happy cooking!