Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Total: 2 hours
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Whole oven-baked cauliflower has been popular for a while, but it’s only a few months since I first tried it. I’m glad I did – its appearance is really something special and of course it tastes great. Moreover, the cooking paid off because we ate the cauliflower for four days adding it to our evening salads.
I wanted a really great sauce to rub it in with and I thought I’d experiment at least for several times to get it right, but to my great surprise it came out just perfect after the first attempt. I knew I wanted the sauce to be spicy, smoky and red, so I went for smoked paprika and garlic to give the main flavour. Sage and parsley, besides having a beautiful green colour, give a nice herby smell and taste; and nutritional yeast boasts with its ever-so-popular cheesy flavour.
Those of you not familiar with whole foods plant-based eating might think that what about the juiciness in oil-free recipes. You can set your mind to rest! There’ll be enough sweet juices from the vegetables and cauliflower making you forget the existence of oils.


Cauliflower & Paste

Side Vegetables


  1. Blend everything besides the cauliflower and parsley in a high-speed blender into a nice paste.
  2. Remove the leaves from cauliflower. Also, remove the stem so that the cauliflower can sit flat and cut a cross into the base (it allows the cauliflower to soften evenly).
  3. Put the cauliflower head into a big pot. Add a few centimeters of water and steam covered for 30 minutes.
  4. Let the cauliflower cool down a bit and then transfer it onto an oven pan. Rub the cauliflower over with the paste using your hands.
  5. Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and bake covered with foil or lid for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and add vegetables onto the pan and bake for another 35-40 minutes until the vegetables are done. If you like your cauliflower very crispy on the outside, put the oven on grill mode for the last 10 minutes.


  • Add pieces of cauliflower and the vegetables to your salad.
  • Have the cauliflower with cashew mayonnaise or with ‘cheesy’ sauce.
  • Eat with lentil loaf or plant-based patties.

Nele Liivlaid is originally from Estonia, but currently lives in Barcelona, Spain. She developed a more profound interest in nutrition and related diseases when she read The China Study. She is a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate graduate and spreads the word about healthy, sustainable nutrition and lifestyle through her blog Nutriplanet, where related articles and whole food plant-based recipes are published weekly.
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