For the past few years, cauliflower has been having a moment. Once considered a boring vegetable that no one could really figure out what to do with, in recent years, it’s been blossoming (and I’m not just talking about its florets 😉). We’ve seen all sorts of yummy cauliflower dishes popping up, like kung pao/Korean fried cauliflower, cauliflower gnocchi, cauliflower mac and cheese, and even pizza crust made from cauliflower. And I’m totally here for it!
The inspiration for this whole roasted cauliflower with tahini & halloumi came from a local Toronto chef, Anthony Rose. The dish is on the menu at one of his Toronto restaurants, Fat Pasha, which serves Israeli food with a modern twist. From the first time I saw the whole roasted cauliflower and tasted it, I was literally OBSESSED. The presentation is over-the-top, complete with a knife inserted into the head of the cauliflower. At the time I first had it, I never thought it would be possible to recreate such a thing of beauty at home. But boy, was I ever wrong! Not to brag, but I actually nailed this whole roasted cauliflower with tahini & halloumi on the first try (so, if I can do it, you can too)! My only regret is not having tried to make it at home sooner.
So today, I want to share how to make a whole roasted cauliflower with you. Scroll to the bottom for the full recipe.
In terms of topping, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts are like the icing on the cake! Although pomegranates were not technically in season when I made this, I was able to pick some up at St. Lawrence Market, which is also where I got the pine nuts (for a hefty price). Definitely worth it because they add a welcome crunch to each bite.
You may come across other recipes online where the halloumi is added at the end. But if there’s one takeaway you get from this blog post, please let it be this: STUD YOUR CAULIFLOWER WITH HALLOUMI BEFORE BAKING! In other words, make little openings all over the cauliflower and insert small pieces of halloumi before putting into the oven. If you blanch your cauliflower for a couple minutes before seasoning and baking, you’ll be able to easily score an “X” at the top of it. Blanching will also loosen the florets up, so you can add your halloumi pieces in between. In the oven, the halloumi will get crisp and brown on the outside, making the whole roasted cauliflower even more delicious!
I created this IGTV video on how to prepare a whole roasted cauliflower, which shows the exact technique.
If you make this for your family or friends, I guarantee they will be blown away!