Whole Roasted Cauliflower: A Perfect Quarantine Meal

Willa Frank, Managing Editor

Whole roasted cauliflower is one of the hottest menu items this winter. The craze began with Tel Aviv chef Eyal Shani and spread quickly to New York, LA, and Paris. Dozens of recipes quickly began appearing on the internet, each slightly different. 

To me, the perfect whole roasted cauliflower is golden with a little char here and there, thanks to the blessings of olive oil. Inside, it is tender, and the florets crumble in your mouth. It should be salty, but only so much as to accentuate the other flavors, and, if you follow this recipe, modestly seasoned. Do note that the spices are my own preferences. Plain olive oil and salt would also be delicious, or you can be inventive with your seasoning—just be careful not to overwhelm the cauliflower. 



1 whole cauliflower

3 tbsp olive oil

5-6 tbsp sea salt (flaky is best)

¼ tsp garlic powder

⅛ tsp cumin

⅛ tsp smoked paprika



Preheat oven to 375°F.

Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with water so the cauliflower will be fully covered later on. Add 5 tablespoons of salt to the water and bring to boil. 

While water is coming to boil, cut the cauliflower stem so that the base of the cauliflower rests flat on your counter. Feel free to keep the cauliflower leaves on. 

Place cauliflower in boiling water and return to boil for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender when tested with a fork. 

Being very careful not to break the cauliflower, remove it from the pot and allow it to drain and cool slightly (about 15 minutes). 

In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil and spices. Using a pastry brush, brush cauliflower with olive oil mixture (use all of it) and sprinkle with salt as desired. If you do not have a pastry brush, you can drizzle the olive oil mixture onto the cauliflower and use your hands to ensure the cauliflower is fully coated. 

Place in the oven for 25 minutes, or until cauliflower is deep gold.