Whole roast cauliflower with a mustard, blue cheese and sage topping | Daylesford

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Whole roast cauliflower with a mustard, blue cheese and sage topping

MAIN DISHES / SALADS AND SIDES / AUTUMN / WINTER

An extract from volume 3 of Seed magazine – ORDER YOURS NOW.

Gentle, soothing and undemanding tends to characterise the cooking at this time of year. As the nights draw in, meals need to sustain, warm and nourish. Stockpots are left to simmer, the season’s earthy root vegetables surrendering their bite to soups and stews; and the oven resumes its role at the heart of the kitchen. Orchard fruits and hedgerow berries are baked into puddings, and casseroles and deep pie dishes arrive at the table. These are the sorts of recipe we’re sharing in this issue.

We’re also shining a spotlight on the cauliflower. Mild and unassuming, the creamy quality of the cloud-like curds is often overlooked in favour of broccoli and its other punchier relatives. Happily chefs and food writers have set out to shake up this humble vegetable’s image and prove how flavoursome and versatile it can be. We’ve taken up the mantle too.

METHOD

DIFFICULTY: Easy

Preheat your oven to 170°C fan. 

In a bowl, mix both mustards with the oil, garlic, turmeric, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper.   

Cut a piece of foil, season it with salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil and place the cauliflower on top. Wrap the foil around the edges so that it comes halfway up the sides of the cauliflower and place on a small baking tray.   

Massage the mustard mixture all over the florets and place in the oven (at the same time as your roast chicken, if using the chicken juices for basting – see note). Roast for around 50 minutes, basting liberally every 20 minutes with the roast chicken juices or with melted butter.   

Meanwhile in a bowl, mix all the topping ingredients with a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper.   

Once tender, remove the cauliflower from the oven, cover with the topping mixture and place it back in the oven for 8 minutes, or until the topping is golden and toasted. Serve straight away.   

For meat eaters, this recipe works brilliantly if you’re roasting a chicken directly on a shelf as you can sit the cauliflower on the shelf beneath and allow the juices to baste and infuse it with flavour. But it’s also an ideal main course for vegetarians – just basted with butter instead – and served with a selection of steamed greens.   

 Photograph by @lizziemayson

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