Whole roasted cauliflower with tahini and tomato salsa

Whole roasted cauliflower with tahini and tomato salsa

Elisa Watson

Cauliflower is probably my favourite vegetable and I could eat it cooked like this every day. One of my chefs, Matthew Wihongi, created this recipe for our catering business and it really wows. If you don’t have time to slow roast the cauli, parboil it until it is soft enough to pierce with a fork. Then put it in the oven with the saffron liquid and baste until golden.


Quantity Ingredient
1 large cauliflower head
1 tablespoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon sumac
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground chicory
90ml olive oil, plus extra if needed
1 teaspoon salt
540g Tahini dip, to serve
80g slivered pistachios, to garnish
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, to garnish
2 tablespoons chilli hair, to garnish

Tomato salsa

Quantity Ingredient
1/4 red onion, finely diced
5 tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
sea salt, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Place the cauliflower head on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  3. Combine the saffron threads with 500 ml boiling water and set aside to steep for 15–20 minutes.
  4. In a bowl, combine the saffron liquid with the sumac, ground spices, oil and salt. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower, making sure it is evenly coated.
  5. Cover the tray with foil and roast the cauliflower in the oven for 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the saffron liquid. Add more oil if needed to keep the cauliflower moist.
  6. Remove the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes to brown the cauliflower a little.
  7. While the cauliflower is browning, make the tomato salsa. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt.
  8. To serve, spread the tahini dip on a large platter and place the cauliflower on top. Cut out a generous wedge of cauliflower and pile the tomato salsa inside and around the edge of the cauliflower. Garnish with slivered pistachios, pomegranate seeds and chilli hair.


  • Chilli hair is available from specialty food stores.
Jewish cooking
Chicken soup
Yom kippur
Dinner party
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