Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

cauliflower 3

I know, it’s such a cliché to present you with a whole cauliflower on the second of January, especially after a month-long parade of butter, sugar and bread. And perhaps it’s the decades of conditioning, or the fact that my Christmas season starts the first week of November, but at this point in the picture I tend to hit a wall (of butter, sugar and bread) and really, truly just want some vegetables. (Sadly, this doesn’t prevent me from wanting the last of the Toblerone too.) Of course I’m easing into this whole veggie thing with a healthy dose of cream.

cauliflower 1

Apologies for the iPhone pics taken in the dark, but this was concocted well before dawn for CBC. It was so magically delicious that I have to share. A whole roasted cauliflower is very pinterest-y these days, but I’ve never actually done it myself. Some techniques have you boil the cauliflower first, simmering it for 15-20 minutes in a mixture of wine and herbs, but to be honest I’d rather drink the wine and skip the whole boiling and draining part – if you slather the cauliflower with oil it will do just fine in the oven on its own. At first it’s a lot like roasting a chicken – all it needs is oil, salt and pepper, but you can jazz things up with some spice if you like.

cauliflower 2

A whole cauliflower will cook through in 40-60 minutes, just enough time to make it all golden and crusty on the outside and tender in the middle, with no need for a thermometer. I debated a Welsh rarebit sauce, then thought of how well cauliflower pairs with curry. To be honest, I winged the sauce as the cauliflower baked, rubbed with oil and a nice curry paste I had in the fridge, which I also stirred into caramelized onions with a big splash of cream to make a chunky sort of butter chicken sauce to pour around/on top/drag the florets through.

And so a new year begins. Happy 2015 all!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce


January 2, 2015

  • Makes: Serves 6.


Roasted cauliflower

1 small cauliflower

canola oil, for cooking

good-quality curry powder or paste


Butter chicken sauce

1 Tbsp. butter

1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro stems (optional)

2 tsp. good-quality curry paste

1 cup heavy (whipping) cream


1Preheat the oven to 400F.

2Trim the stem and any leaves off the base of the cauliflower and put it in a small baking dish or oven proof skillet, or on a small baking sheet. Rub it all over with oil and curry powder or paste, and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 40-60 minutes, or until deep golden and tender when poked with a knife.

3Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil with the butter in a small skillet set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for a few minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic, ginger and cilantro and cook for another minute or two.

4Stir in the curry paste and cream and bring to a simmer; cook, stirring, for a few minutes or until thickened. Spoon around the roasted cauliflower, or save it to spoon over each wedge.


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7 comments on “Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Butter Chicken Sauce

  1. Lori E
    January 3, 2015 at 1:51 am

    I have seen many versions of this but have never tried it. It sure does look good though.
    I know exactly what you mean about the need for vegetables. If I don’t get a Greek salad soon somebody is going to get hurt.

  2. Cory Lievers
    January 3, 2015 at 10:26 am

    This sounds really good, definitely going to give it a try.

  3. gayle
    January 3, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Love roasting veggies …

  4. Wendy
    January 4, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    This sounds very interesting. I have done it other ways but this seems easier and tastier

  5. Cyndy
    January 10, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Love love love this

  6. Anonymous
    February 18, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Thanks,just tried this recipe delicious!!. I will be using it all the time

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