Roasted Whole Cauliflower

Makes 4 first course servings or 4-6 side dish servings.

This vegetable is so adaptable to variations in seasoning and cooking and is available all year round.   Roasting and steaming at the same time brings out the delicate flavor of the cauliflower.  It is quite impressive to bring this dish whole to the table. If you are serving a crowd, you can always roast two at the same time.

I am a purist, and I like the cauliflower served without any dressing, although when I serve it as a first course I do like it with the dressing.

This is a wonderful dish to serve on Passover. 


  • 1 medium to large cauliflower, about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Place a heavy cast iron skillet in the oven.
  3. Place a small pan of cold water on the lowest rack of the oven to create steam.
  4. Cut off the outer leaves of cauliflower. Cut off the bottom of the stem, and cut out the hard core.
  5. Rinse the cauliflower. Rub with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place the cauliflower core side down in the hot skillet and cook until very tender, about 1 hour.  Check if soft by piercing with the point of a knife.
  6. The cauliflower should be lightly golden and very soft.


  • 2 tablespoons light Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (Omit on Passover)
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. You can either place the vinegar, mustard, and honey in a small bowl, and whisk in the olive oil at a very slow stream, then add the remaining ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Or place the vinegar, mustard and honey in a blender. With the motor running, pour the oil slowly through the opening in the lid and blend well. Add the reaming ingredients and season with salt and pepper.