Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Almond-Herb Sauce Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Joanne Weir

Adapted by Julia Moskin

Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Almond-Herb Sauce Recipe (1)

Total Time
About 2 hours
Read community notes

This striking dish has become a modern classic, as chefs around the world are working out new ways to push vegetables into the center of the plate. It makes a lovely vegetarian main course after a pasta intro, or a gorgeous side dish for lamb or fish. Omit the anchovies in the sauce, and it becomes entirely vegetarian; replace the butter with more olive oil, and it turns vegan. Try using pale orange, green or purple cauliflower, or a head of spiky, psychedelic Romanesco. Carve it at the table, just like a roast, for maximum impact. —Julia Moskin

Featured in: How to Roast Cauliflower (the Whole Thing)

  • or to save this recipe.

  • Subscriber benefit: give recipes to anyone

    As a subscriber, you have

    10 gift recipes to give each month. Anyone can view them - even nonsubscribers.

    Learn more.


  • Print Options

    Include recipe photo



Yield:2 main course servings, or 4 to 6 side dish servings

    For the Cauliflower

    • 1large cauliflower
    • Olive oil
    • Salt

    For the Sauce

    • cup blanched almonds
    • 6 to 10anchovy fillets (optional)
    • 2garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (or use olive oil)
    • ½cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for basting
    • 2teaspoons wine vinegar (white or red), more to taste
    • ½cup coarsely chopped parsley, mint, tarragon, cilantro or a combination
    • ½ to 1teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
    • Salt and ground black pepper

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (2 servings)

954 calories; 90 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 63 grams monounsaturated fat; 11 grams polyunsaturated fat; 28 grams carbohydrates; 11 grams dietary fiber; 9 grams sugars; 18 grams protein; 1277 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Powered by

Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Almond-Herb Sauce Recipe (2)


Make the recipe with us

  1. Step


    Heat the oven while you prepare the cauliflower: Place a heavy oven-proof skillet (a cast-iron skillet looks very nice) or a baking sheet in the oven and turn the heat to 375 degrees. Place a small pan of hot water on the floor of the oven, to create steam.

  2. Step


    Break off and discard the outer leaves from the cauliflower. Cut off the bottom of the stem, and then use the tip of a small, sharp knife to cut off the leaves close to the stem. Carefully cut out the hard core of the cauliflower, near the bottom. Leave the main stem intact and make sure not to cut through any of the florets.

  3. Rinse the cauliflower (leave the water clinging to the outside) and place on a work surface, core side up. Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to rub over the cauliflower until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt.

  4. Step


    Place the cauliflower on the hot pan in the oven, core side down, and cook until very tender all the way through when pierced with a knife, at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours. During the cooking, baste 2 or 3 times with more olive oil. It should brown nicely. If you have a convection feature, use it toward the end of baking to brown the crust.

  5. Step


    Make the sauce: In a small frying pan, toast nuts over low heat, shaking often, just until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

  6. Step


    Soak anchovies, if using, for 5 minutes in cool water. Rinse and set aside on paper towels.

  7. Step


    In a food processor, combine almonds, anchovies, garlic and butter and pulse until smooth. Mix in oil, then vinegar. Mix in herbs and red pepper flakes, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  8. Step


    When cauliflower is tender, remove from the oven. (If desired, run it briefly under the broiler first to brown the surface; there is no need to do this if you used convection.)

  9. Step


    Serve cauliflower in the skillet or from a serving plate. Cut into wedges and spoon sauce around each wedge.



out of 5


user ratings

Your rating

or to rate this recipe.

Have you cooked this?

or to mark this recipe as cooked.

Private Notes

Leave a Private Note on this recipe and see it here.

Cooking Notes

Joan Canada

To cut calories but not flavour, I steam the head for about 15 minutes. Then I brush the head with olive oil - 2 table spoons is plenty. Then I roast the cauliflower in the oven until brown and nutty. Cooks faster and tastes great.


That's a LOT of olive oil. I like the recipe from an old copy of Cooks Magazine: preheat oven to 425. cut cauliflower into wedges. lightly oil pan and lay cauliflower in it flat sides down. cover tightly with foil. Roast for 8-10 min. Turn so that other flat side of wedge is pan side down. recover and roast 8 min. take foil off, roast 8-10 more (can baste with small amount more olive oil). Cauliflower is moist, rich, browned all around. Much less oil. Easy. delicious

Experienced cook

The original recipe which calls for cooking the whole cauliflower including outer leaves and stem (head down) in boiling water for 15 min before roasting is by far less work.


Not a fan of extended cooking with olive oil for extended periods at high temperatures. Wonder about substituting avocado oil for the olive oil since it has the highest smoke point (when components of the oil start to oxidize) of common vegetable oils. Most olive oils have smoke points below 375 F. I use avocado for all high temperature cooking. If want olive oil flavor, use as small a quantity of avocado oil as is practical, then add olive oil right at the end to maintain its integrity.


Slightly mashed capers work beautifully in the place of anchovies in Caesar salad dressing. Sharp and tangy. I imagine they'd do very well with the cauliflower.


I love this dish, which I have made a number of times, as published and with a few variations of my own

Alas, I am forced to count calories. Here is how I lighten this up: I reduce the amount of oil in the sauce fairly dramatically and replace it with water as I emulsify the sauce with a hand blender. The emulsion does not break even after a couple of days in the fridge and reheating. My husband and I actually prefer the lightened version of the sauce, which remains intensely flavorful.


Also concerned with all the oil. (Why turn vegetable into fattening dish???) 1st brushed with oil olive, 2nd mid-way with balsamic vinegar. The 2nd hr of roasting may not be necessary but brought out the best in flavors. Also, while a whole roasted head of cauliflower does make a great impression the browned surfaces are the best tasting part of dish. Next time will quarter to allow more exposed surface area for browning. FYI, put Dijon mustard on reheated leftovers. Easy and tasty. Cheers

Diana Duke Duncan

In the actual NYT paper, this recipe and sauce (both of which are FABULOUS) mentioned several alternate sauces. Is it possible to add them to this on-line version?


The calorie count is correct! Goggling the calorie count of each ingredient:
Cauliflower 209
Almonds 273
Anchovies 84
Garlic 9
Butter 204
Olive oil 955
Vinegar 2
Parsley 11

Total 1,747

The total doesn't include the extra oil to rub over the cauliflower in Step 3, or the oil to baste with in Step 4.


This is an Absolute Best recipe I've cooked thanks to the NYTimes cooking site. I worked for Julia Child's French Cooking (at home) WGBH-TV early on and she would have "killed" for this recipe. Go for it and Bon Appetit.


Instead of raw garlic, I sautéed the sliced cloves over medium heat 'til caramelized, then added them to the mix in the processor. Glad that I did. Yummy!


The whole head was impressive, and the silky texture of the interior was interesting, but I thought the flavor wasn't as good as simply tossing florets and stem pieces in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasting conventionally. The interior doesn't get seasoned with the whole roasting method. It took a long time as well. The sauce was delicious.


I found that adding the oil to the wet cauliflower created a bomb that coated the inside of my oven with oil.


Toss cauliflower florets in a mixture of red curry and coconut oil. Baking sheet at 375 till tender top with fresh grated parmesan and finish under broiler. Mmm.

Big Al the Big Vegetarian

I'm guess umami paste here would be miso paste. Capers have worked well for me with butter type dishes. Another option would be nutritional yeast, a longstanding vegan trick for getting things to taste cheesy, which is to say, umami-y.


5 stars for the sauce. After reading the other notes, I just roasted the cauliflower the normal way--broke up the florets, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled on some salt and pepper, and baked about an hour at 450F until the florets were singed and crispy. But the sauce was so tasty and unique.


Roasting the entire head of cauliflower this way creates a lovely presentation at the table- a bonus if it’s a special occasion. I bumped up the heat to 400 and used the convection setting for the last 20 minutes. A medium sized head of cauliflower took 70 minutes to cook. The core is firm and tasty, the florets are crunchy and nutty. The sauce is savory goodness, made it tonight with mint leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon ‘cause that’s what I had.


How could you possibly make this sauce/salsa/pesto WITHOUT the anchovies? It is brilliant. If you don’t like anchovies...find another recipe.


Hi Jackie, Try nutritional yeast or Kalamata olives instead of anchovies. They both add a savory flavor and richness. For what it’s worth, you don’t really taste the anchovies. They just add a richness and the saltiness to the dish. My partner hates anchovies and didn’t even notice that they were in there. It was so delicious, he wasn’t even annoyed with me that I didn’t tell him till we eat dinner.


The cauliflower was good but the sauce is amazing! Very unusual flavours. I made with almond butter, cilantro, and fewer anchovies. We brought it to a dinner party and before long everything was being dipped in it.


A 1 3/4 lb cauliflower head took 1 hr 20 min at 375.


Made the sauce only. Was delicious. Modified to use olive oil and plain yogurt


Hmmm. I followed the advice of several commenters and steamed the whole head of cauliflower 15 minutes before roasting. It was already done by the time I put it in the oven to roast. I think I'll stick to my tried-and-true method of slicing it into 1" wedges and roasting. This method produces the same flavor in a lot less time.


Great sauce


60 to 70 min is plenty of time. I substituted Spanish ham for anchovies. I should have cooked the garlic a tad before putting in the sauce.


Use the Whold Roasted C. with Romesco instead. The sauce is divine -- use a jar of roasted red peppers from TJ's. Far less oil.


Delicious, exactly as it is set forth in this recipe. Who cares about the olive oil if it is meant to be a vegetarian dinner (notwithstanding the anchovies). Yum!!!


Used Roasted almonds, cilantro.Liked anchovies but maybe a little less.


Made this as cauliflower steaks last weekend and we really liked it. Will make again. If your garlic has been stored a while, don't be alarmed if the vinegar turns it blue! Still edible :)


I made this as part of Easter dinner. Sauce was delicious but sadly the cauliflower was way overcooked, even with the minimum cooking time. I'll make this again but shorten the cooking time significantly. Sauce would be delicious on almost anything!

Sourdough Gal

The pairing of the sauce with this roasted cauliflower is epic. We are not cauliflower freaks; we are anchovy skeptics. Stepping outside of our comfort zone was well rewarded. I didn’t have whole anchovies so I substituted a tablespoon of anchovy paste.

Private notes are only visible to you.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Almond-Herb Sauce Recipe (2024)


Why is my baked cauliflower soggy? ›

Crowding the Baking Sheet

Cauliflower has a very high water content, so it won't get crispy if you bake the florets crowded together. "Be sure to give each floret a bit of room so that the they have space for airflow. I'd also recommend baking them on a silicone baking mat," says Blay.

How to roast a cauliflower Ottolenghi? ›

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with three tablespoons of oil and a half-teaspoon of salt, then spread out on a large oven tray lined with greaseproof paper. Roast for 22-25 minutes, until lightly charred but still with a bite. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool. 2.

What is the secret to roasting vegetables? ›

The perfect temperature– 400 degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect temperature for most roasted vegetables. It allows for a crispy, perfectly browned exterior and a fork tender interior. But it will vary based on the types of veggies and oil used. If your veggies are not browning enough, try increasing the temperature.

How do you keep roasted vegetables from getting soggy? ›

The next time you roast vegetables, add some cornstarch. Yes, cornstarch—that box in your pantry is the secret to a super-crispy exterior on veggies, from potatoes to cauliflower.

Why do you soak cauliflower before cooking? ›

This process – which should last 10-20 minutes - destroys several microbes and large parasites. As cauliflower is highly susceptible to microbial attacks, it should be washed once again. This time, boil some water and put the cauliflower florets in it. Keep for five minutes and remove from the hot water.

How healthy is roasted cauliflower? ›

When it comes to nutrition, cauliflower is a superstar. It's high in vitamins C and K, and is also a good source of folate, which supports cell growth and is essential during pregnancy. Cauliflower is fat-free and cholesterol-free. And it's low in sodium.

How do you get moisture out of cauliflower? ›

The best way to deal with the liquid is to put the riced cauliflower in a covered microwave-safe dish, heat it thoroughly to get all the liquid out of it you can, then drain it. If you have to cook it on the stovetop, add as little water as possible and stir frequently to keep it from sticking to the pan.

How do you get water out of cooked cauliflower? ›

The trick with cauliflower is: Don't cook it till is too soft. just 4 or 5 minutes but taste to be sure. then drain into a colander, (sieve with big holes) and leave to drain for a few minutes, asking every minute. tap dry with a little kitchen paper or a clean tea towel.

How do you dry soggy cauliflower? ›

Arrange blanched cauliflower in single layers on drying trays. Dry at 140 degrees F (60°C) in an oven or dehydrator. If necessary, turn large pieces over every 3 to 4 hours during the drying period. Vegetables can scorch easily toward the end of drying, so monitor more closely as drying nears completion.

How do you get the liquid out of cauliflower? ›

Once the riced cauliflower has been cooked (or thawed), transfer it to a clean, thin dishtowel. Wrap up the steamed rice in the dishtowel, twist it up, then SQUEEZE all the excess moisture out!


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Last Updated:

Views: 5635

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kimberely Baumbach CPA

Birthday: 1996-01-14

Address: 8381 Boyce Course, Imeldachester, ND 74681

Phone: +3571286597580

Job: Product Banking Analyst

Hobby: Cosplaying, Inline skating, Amateur radio, Baton twirling, Mountaineering, Flying, Archery

Introduction: My name is Kimberely Baumbach CPA, I am a gorgeous, bright, charming, encouraging, zealous, lively, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.