Serves: 2 main courses, 4 sides | Estimated time: 1 ½ - 2 ½ hours | Special Equipment: mortar and pestle
Whether you’re a meat-eater looking for a side dish or a vegetarian searching for an entrée, this whole roasted cauliflower is a satisfyingly healthy meal addition. Coated in seasoned ghee and roasted until golden, the cauliflower becomes infused with spice and lemon. To ensure a fork-tender roast, an oven-safe container of water is placed on the oven floor to generate steam. Once the water has evaporated, the outer florets become slightly-charred and crispy for extra flavor and texture. Serve alongside a quick chimichurri with a nutritional boost of moringa leaves for a fresh and herby addition.
- 1 head cauliflower (1 ½ - 2 lbs)
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- ½ tsp cumin seeds (substitute: ¼ tsp pre-ground cumin)
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder (substitute: cayenne powder)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- ¼ cup fresh moringa leaves
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parsley
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- ½ tsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted (substitute: ¼ tsp pre-ground cumin)
- ¼ tsp Kashmiri chili powder (substitute: cayenne powder)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp kosher salt
Place an oven-proof skillet or baking sheet into the oven and turn the heat to 375F (190C). In a small oven-proof pan, add 2 inches of water and place the pan on the oven floor to begin creating steam.
Prepare the cauliflower by trimming the base stem of the head to help it sit flat. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the ghee, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, chili, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Rub the seasoned ghee all over the cauliflower.
Carefully remove the skillet or pan from the oven and place the cauliflower in the center, trimmed base down. Roast until tender and easily pierced with a fork, minimum 1 hour and up to 2 depending on your preferred doneness.
While waiting, make your moringa chimichurri. In your mortar, add the toasted cumin seeds and grind to a powder if not already in powder form. Crush and grind in the garlic with the chili powder until it comes together in a paste. Next, add the moringa, parsley, and salt, pounding and grinding until broken up. Follow with the cilantro, lightly grinding until just incorporated. While continuously mixing the chimichurri, begin streaming in the olive oil then finish it off with lemon juice a tablespoon at a time. Taste and add more to your preference. Adjust the salt and spices if desired then set aside at room temperature until the cauliflower is finished. Alternatively, you can follow this same process in a food processor.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving in the skillet or transferred to a serving dish. When transferring, slide a spatula beneath the cauliflower for support and to prevent it from falling apart. Slice and serve alongside the moringa chimichurri.