Roasted whole cauliflower

with harissa & tahini parsley sauce

inspired by “Simple” by Ottolenghi


3 tbsp butter at room temperature

2 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt

Harissa sauce

Tahini & parsley sauce

¼ cup tahini

¾ cup parsley

1 garlic clove

cup of water

Juice of 1 whole lemon

Sea salt & black pepper

There’s something stunning about a roasted whole cauliflower. The colours are rich, and the flavours of the harissa, parsley and lemon perfectly compliment each other.

This recipe was inspired by Ottolenghi’s recipe in the amazing cookbook, “Simple.” I was instantly intrigued by the whole cauliflower with the crispy, intact leaves, and the golden florets. We experimented with using different spices as a rub on the top of the cauliflower. Turmeric and paprika were among favourites, but we particularly loved the harissa sauce. Harissa is a North African hot chilli paste, and coupled with the lemon juice, it adds a kick of spice with an acidic edge.  The green tahini sauce is not only a stunning addition, but can be used as a dip for the cauliflower.

This dish really elevates the cauliflower to a new level. It is sure to be the centrepiece of the table, and is a wonderful dish to share with friends.


Serves 4–6


  1. Fill a large pot with water, add salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place cauliflower, top down, in the water, and boil for 6 minutes.
  2. Remove the cauliflower from the water, and let drain for about 10 minutes, while the oven is preheating at 350 F.
  3. Place the cauliflower in a baking dish.
  4. Mix the butter and olive oil, and apply over the top of the cauliflower.
  5. Apply the harissa over the cauliflower, and put in the oven for 1.5–2 hours. Periodically, baste the cauliflower with the oil mixture.

Tahini & Parsley sauce

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor, or strong blender, and blend until smooth.
  2. Add more tahini for a thicker consistency, or more water for a thinner consistency.
  3. Add salt and extra lemon juice to taste. 

Further ideas and modifications

  • Harissa is a spicy North African chili paste, which can be purchased in many grocery stores, or made at home. While it lends a lovely heat and colour to the cauliflower, there are many other options. The cauliflower is delicious just with the butter and olive oil mixture, especially when topped with a squeeze of lemon. A spice mixture of turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika and cayenne, or any other spices that you like or have in your cupboard would be tasty.
  • If you are unable to have dairy, the butter can be replaced with a little extra olive oil.


  1. Denise Cole

    Fabulous!!Will send pics when I make this. Congrats, the site looks wonderful!

    • Amanda

      I agree, this looks amazing!!

  2. Denise

    Made and enjoyed cauliflower today. I used the spice rub suggestion. Delicious and nutritious. Big hit!!!


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