Whole Roast Cauliflower with Anchovies
Once you’ve made and tried this dish for the first time, you will not only find yourself constantly craving it but also, I can guarantee you’ll be asked to make it time and time again. It’s simply irresistible and turns agreatly underrated vegetable into a glorious centre piece worthy of any dinner table!
- 1 large cauliflower, whole with the leaves left on
- 75g jarred or tinned anchovies, plus anchovy oil (optional)
- 1 garlic bulb, cut in half horizontally
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- herbamare or sea salt (my preference is herbamare)
- cracked black pepper
- 250g hummus
- 1 handful pine nuts
- a drizzle olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 450°F, gas mark 8, 220°C (200°C fan-assisted).
- Line a baking tray with a silicone baking mat and lay 2 sheets of foil (long enough to cover the cauliflower) crossways overthe top of the mat.
- Wash the cauliflower, shake off the excess water, and then sit it on top of the foil lined baking tray, placing the garlic bulb halves on either side, topping each half with a sprig of rosemary.
- Remove the leaves from the remaining rosemary sprig and scatter these, alongside a generous seasoning of herbamare (or salt)and pepper, over the top of the cauliflower then drizzle with 2tbsp of the olive oil.
- Spread the anchovies evenly over the surface ofthe cauliflower and then drizzle all over with 1 tbsp. of the anchovy oil (if using) before wrapping the cauliflower with the foil and ensuring that it is well sealed.
- Place the cauliflower into the oven and roastfor 1 ½ hours, then remove from the oven, unwrap the foil and move the anchovies from the top of the cauliflower to around its base. Cover with exess foil around the edgaes so the garlic bulb and anchovies don't burn. Drizzle the surface with the remaining 1 tbsp. of oil, then put it back into the oven for another 20-30 minutes – the longer you leave it, the more charred it will become so this is very much down to individual preference. Then remove from the oven and set aside.
- Taking a large, flat platter or plate, spread the hummus over the surface in an even layer, then sit the roasted caulifloweron top with the roasted garlic halves on the side – the dig in and eat straight away!
LISA’S TIP - Don’t be put off by or be tempted to leave out the anchovies in this recipe – their taste doesn’t overpower the finished dish (in fact most people fail to notice that they’re even there) and they very much help to bring out the delicious flavours of the cauliflower. For even more deliciousness, you could serve some tahini alongside to drizzle over the top.