It’s been a mission of mine to cook the perfect whole roasted cauliflower. Tender on the inside and crisp on the outside, this Cauliflower Shawarma is one seriously tasty easy vegan dinner you can enjoy on it’s own or with your favourite choice of protein.
How to Cook the best whole roasted cauliflower
The first time I made a whole roasted cauliflower, I won’t lie, it was, shall we say a disaster! Burnt on the outside, raw in the inside. Cry, cry! But the determined little ant that I am didn’t give in. I tried a few things, part covering with tin foil, part boiling and then I hit the jackpot, in terms of taste and also ease.
So here you have them…
My top tips on how to cook the best whole roasted cauliflower
Par steam the cauliflower first. Since I made two cauliflowers for this recipe (the stylist in me wanted a picture with two in!) I used a large stock pan but you can use a large soup pan or dutch oven if just making one and scale down the marinade a bit.
I like to leave the leaves closest to the florets on (they go lovely and crispy and look pretty), just discard the outer leaves as these can taste a bit bitter.
Once steamed, pat the cauliflower dry with kitchen paper before placing onto a baking tray.
Make sure you use enough of the marinade. This is what’s going to give you the most incredible flavour but also that lovely crispy outer.
Really get in there with your basting brush with the marinade to all the nooks and crannies. Get in-between the leaves and don’t forget the bottom of the cauliflower.
Whether you’re vegan, or just looking to add more veggies to your diet this is super tasty dish. I like to serve it with baked tofu or roasted chicken or salmon (if you’re not vegan of course.)
Who is this Cauliflower Shawarma suitable for?
This Cauliflower Shawarma is vegan, Paleo, Gaps and Whole30 friendly.
Adaptations. To make:
AIP – leave off the tahini sauce and replace the curry powder and nutmeg with a mix of 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp ginger and add lots more fresh coriander at the end. Use the rest of the dressing ingredients as per the recipe.
Low carb / keto – omit the pomegranate seeds or use just 1 – 2 tbsp for a little sweetness and to keep the carbs low.
Vegan Cauliflower Shawarma
- 2 small cauliflowers (2 x 600g)
CAULIFLOWER SHAWARMA SPICED OIL
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tbsp curry powder (I like Waitrose Cooks' ingredient curry powder)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon (I like Coconut Merchant CM Naturals Ceylon Cinnamon)
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Seeds from 3 cardamon pods or a pinch of ground cardamon
- 1/2 - 1 tsp Flaked sea salt to taste
- 50 ml tahini (I like Meridian Foods Organic Light Tahini)
- 1 small clove garlic
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tbsp ice cold water
- Pinch of flaked sea salt
- 1 - 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh pomegranete seeds (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 220C / 200 fan.
- Place the cauliflowers in a steamer inside a large stock pot with 1 cup of water in the bottom. Steam for about 7 - 8 minutes until el dente.
- Meanwile mix all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
- Remove the cauliflowers from the steamer and pat dry all over with kitchen paper. Place on a baking tray and brush with the marinade all over, including the base, and get in-between the florets and leaves. Reserve 2 - 3 tbsp to baste during cooking.
- Place the Cauliflower Shawarma in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, basting with the remaining marinade after about 15 minutes, until crisp on the outside and you can insert a sharp knife through the middle.
- Place all the tahini sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk with a hand balloon whisk until smooth. Using a hand balloon whisk will stop the sauce splitting and make it silky smooth. Adjust the water to your desired thinness.
- Slice or cut the cauliflower into wedges and drizzle with tahini sauce, fresh pomegranate seeds and fresh coriander. Option to add some cracked black pepper too if you like.