Head to the Dijon Cauliflower

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Previously documented as one of my desert island vegetables, the cauliflower can be an epic snack, but also likes to make an appearance as a spectacular centerpiece of a meal. So versatile. As the cauliflower season ramps up, there is an abundance of caulis, ripe for the picking. Choose ones that are bright white, heavy, with tight crisp florets. While this recipe has a mustard sauce, you can pretty much mix it up according to the occasion. Try a smokey sweet BBQ sauce if you want a Texan feel, a spicy gochujang sprinkled with sesame seeds for a Korean flavor, or roast with zaatar and lashings of olive oil, then coat with a loose sauce of tahini, garlic, lemon and parsley for a middle eastern extravaganza.


Dutch oven or deep backing vessel with a lid


1 (small to medium) head cauliflower

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon drained capers

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, divided

¼ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon chili flakes

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish

½ teaspoon chili flakes, for garnish

Vegan parmesan

Lets DO This!

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Trim the leaves from the cauliflower, and cut off the base of the cauliflower until is is flat and can stand securely upright.

2. Combine the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, capers, garlic, nutritional yeast, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, turmeric, and chili in a small blender; blend until smooth.

3. Coat the cauliflower with about half of the lemon Dijon sauce by spooning it over and massaging into the head so it sticks.

4. Place the cauliflower in a Dutch oven or deep baking dish, cover with lid, and roast for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, baste the cauliflower with more lemon Dijon sauce, then cover pan and roast for 20 more minutes. Baste one more time with lemon Dijon sauce, then return cauliflower to oven to cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

5. Remove pan from the oven, and carefully remove the cauliflower from the pan. Garnish with remaining ¼ cup chopped parsley, sesame seeds, and chili. Sprinkle with vegan parmesan. Serve whole at the table and slice into wedges to serve. 

6. Be carried around the table by your guests in an extreme victory lap.


Polly McGee