I recall an evening or many when I thought that I hated cauliflower, but as I look back to my younger days I just didn’t appreciate it, since then I have made a whole roasted head of cauliflower several times and just about time to give my tired simple recipe a rest and dive headfirst into one of several that I have in my will make files one of which is Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe.
This should be a nice accompaniment to the lovely Dorie Greenspan’s roasted chicken
I also found one from another of our guest chef’s, Giada, but the ingredients list stopped me this time so on to Yotam’s recipe for now and that is not to say that I won’t make my own recipe, next time a simply good version with additions of chicken stock, garlic a few herbs, and grated parm or a shaved Italian blend of cheeses.
1 large cauliflower with its leaves intact
150g crème fraîche
1 tbsp lemon juice
70g unsalted butter softened to room temperature
3 tbsp olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Using a pair of scissors, lightly trim the leaves at the top of the cauliflower, so that about 5cm of the cauliflower’s head is exposed.
Fill a pan large enough to fit the cauliflower in salty water. Bring to a boil and carefully lower in the cauliflower exposed head down: don’t worry if the base sticks out a little. Bring back to a boil, cook for six minutes, then transfer the cauliflower to a colander, exposed head down. Set aside for 10 minutes, to drain and cool.
Heat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3. Mix the creme fraiché and lemon juice, and set aside in the fridge until required.
Mix the butter with the oil. Put the cauliflower stem side down in a medium baking tray and spread the butter mix all over the white flower. Sprinkle over a teaspoon and a quarter of salt, and roast for an hour and a half to two hours, basting the cauliflower with the buttery juices five or six times during cooking. The cauliflower is done when it’s super-tender and a dark golden-brown, and the leaves are crisp and charred. Remove from the oven and serve with the lemony crème fraîche and a little extra salt for sprinkling on top alongside.