I think it is absolutely astounding how far the humble vegetable has come in the last 10 years. Gone are the days of boring side dishes, when the vegetables resembled anything but a good healthy veg and more like Boarding School or Hospital fodder or your last meal on Death Row. This Whole Baked Cauliflower is the perfect example of how far we have come, just a few simple ingredients take this humble old vegetable to amazing new heights. Unfortunately I can’t take all the credit for this and you will find a slightly different version of this Whole Baked Cauliflower in Jamie Olivers 5 Ingredient Cook Book. The main difference here is the absence of Dukkah and the introduction of fresh herbs as I was cooking more of a Cypriot style meal rather than Middle Eastern. No matter, it is easily adaptable as are most recipes, so feel free to have a play around with this delicious, easy and sensational recipe.

Prep time: 10 Minutes

Cooking time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

$ Low Budget

Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side

1 whole cauliflower (approximately 700gm)

1 cup of Greek yoghurt

2 tbs of Harissa Paste

1/2 a cup of water

1/2 a pomegranate (freeze the leftover half)

Sea Salt and Pepper

2 tbs of toasted pine nuts

1 tbs each of chopped Dill, Parsley & Mint

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

To prepare the Whole Baked Cauliflower, trim the cauliflower of any damaged leaves. I like to keep a few on for aesthetics as they look really cool once charred and also provide a little pocket to catch juices. Give the cauliflower a good rinse, just in case there is dirt hidden in the leaves.

Grab a really sharp knife and slice the cauliflower into 4 or 6 parts to about 2 thirds of the way down, depending on how many people you are feeding. Being careful not to slice all the way to the bottom. Place the cauliflower in an oven proof casserole and preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the yoghurt and harissa in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Give it a good stir to combine and if you are using a pot set yoghurt like Jalna, you may need to add a tablespoon of water to thin the yoghurt down slightly. Pour the yoghurt mixture over the top of the cauliflower and if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, rub it all over and gently pry the cuts open to get some of the yoghurt inside. Drizzle the cauliflower with a little extra virgin olive oil and pour 100ml of water around the base before baking in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking periodically that the water in the bottom hasn’t completely dried up. If it has, just add a little water at a time to keep the base of the pan nice and juicy so you can baste the cauliflower during the cooking process

When the Whole Baked Cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and drizzle over the juice of the pomegranate, reserving the seeds for garnish. Place the cauliflower back in the oven for a further 10 minutes, remove, baste and rest for a few minutes before garnishing with pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and sprinkling over the fresh herbs. Drizzle over Extra Virgin Olive Oil and season with salt and pepper before serving in the centre of the table.

Leftover Greek Yoghurt? How about this for Breakfast?