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Whole Roasted Cauliflower
1 hour 10 minutes active
A head of cauliflower roasted whole and brought to the table uncut makes a striking, centerpiece-like side dish. Blanching it in heavily salted water before roasting ensures the vegetable is seasoned to its core and reduces roasting time. Cooking times are for a 2-pound cauliflower; larger ones retained more water and took longer to roast. To serve more people, cook two 2-pounders rather than a jumbo-size head. We like this served as is, but it's also delicious drizzled with tahini, Sriracha or a blend of both.
2-pound head cauliflower, leaves trimmed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
01Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the upper-middle position. In a 6- to 8-quart pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add ½ cup salt to the water, then carefully lower the cauliflower into the pot. Cook for 5 minutes (start timing immediately), flipping the cauliflower with a spoon after 2 minutes. Transfer to a colander, stem side down, and drain for 10 minutes.
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I've made this a couple times and it's always a hit, especially with my vegetarian friends! In addition to black pepper I also sprinkle sweet paprika but tonight I might reduce the black pepper and substitute some mild but flavorful ground chilies from South America along with a bit of cumin and some crushed coriander seeds.