Smothered in harissa paste and yoghurt and roasted in the oven, this vegan whole roasted cauliflower is truly wonderful. A beautiful centrepiece for a vegan feast but equally as good as a veggie side dish.
Despite really hating cauliflower as a child, it's now one of my favourite vegetables.
The secret to learning to love cauliflower? Roasting it.
Roasting cauliflower brings out all the flavour and none of the sogginess. Cauliflower takes to other flavours really well so adding herbs and spices is a good idea.
In this vegan whole roasted cauliflower recipe I've added harissa paste. This gives it a lovely deep spicy taste, which is utterly moreish.
What is harissa?
Harissa is a chilli paste. It originates from north Africa and the middle east and is widely used in the cooking of those regions.
Every harissa recipe varies slightly but ingredients usually include:
- red peppers
- olive oil
- caraway or fennel seeds
You can also get rose harissa, which tastes absolutely incredible and would work just as well in this recipe.
If you'd like to try making your own harissa paste this recipe by Minimalist Baker looks good.
Is whole roasted cauliflower easy to make?
Yes - it's very easy to make this harissa roasted cauliflower recipe.
All you need to do is:
- mix the paste ingredients together
- rub the cauliflower into the paste until well coated
- cover with foil or a lid - and roast!
Why foil? The foil stops the outside of the cauliflower from burning before the middle is cooked. If you have a large enough ovenproof dish with a lid you can use that instead.
How long does it take to cook a whole roasted cauliflower?
Cooking times can vary. Roughly speaking, the larger your cauliflower the longer it will take to cook.
A small cauliflower will cook in 40-45 minutes, a large one could take an hour or more.
To check whether it is cooked through you will simply need to insert a sharp knife into the centre of the cauliflower. If it slides in easily then it's cooked through - if not return to the oven.
What to serve with whole roasted cauliflower
This is a wonderfully versatile dish.
Harissa roasted cauliflower goes equally well with a mezze style meal as with a roast dinner. It would look gorgeous as the centrepiece of a vegan Christmas dinner.
Here are more dishes that would go beautifully with this vegan harissa cauliflower:
- baba ghanoush
- baked Greek beans
- quinoa tabbouleh
- cauliflower hummus
- Israeli salad
- fava bean dip
- vegan spanakopita
- roast beetroot dip
- balsamic roasted radicchio
- garlic tahini sauce.
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How to make harissa whole roasted cauliflower
Whole roasted cauliflower with harissa and pomegranate seeds
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50 g harissa paste
- 50 g dairy free yoghurt
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large cauliflower
- handful pomegranate seeds
- handful flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan)/220°C/gas mark 7.
- Mix 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, 50g harissa paste and 50g dairy free yoghurt together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Trim the cauliflower, removing any big leaves. Wash and pat dry with kitchen towel.
- Hold the cauliflower upside down and rub into the bowl so that the harissa paste covers the cauliflower. Use your hands to rub in the last bits if needed.
- Place the cauliflower into a lightly greased roasting tin and cover with a lid or foil.
- Roast for 30-45 minutes. Larger cauliflowers will take longer to cook.
- Remove the foil and roast for a further 20-30 minutes until tender (check by inserting a knife into the centre) and crispy on the outside.
- Serve with chopped flat leaf parsley and pomegranate seeds.
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