Whole Roasted Cauliflower

This Whole Roasted Cauliflower is a show-stopper!  If you’ve never encountered a whole roasted cauliflower, it is a very fun and tasty way to serve and eat this veggie!

The cauliflower is cooked in saffron water and then roasted in the oven to get caramelized.  It’s served over a feta and Greek yogurt sauce and drizzled with a pomegranate dressing.  Topped with pomegranate seeds and fresh mint, it’s a lovely accompaniment to any main course!

Begin this recipe by “blooming” the saffron.  This means to place ground saffron in water to allow it to soak and create a flavorful base.  Add the bloomed saffron to a stockpot that has enough water in it to allow the whole cauliflower to be submerged.  Add salt, turmeric, bay leaves and garlic.  Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, trim the cauliflower (but leave it whole) and place it in the stockpot carefully once the water has begun to boil.

Cover the pot and cook for 10-15 minutes or until it’s tender.

While the cauliflower cooks, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor for the feta sauce except the olive oil.  Once the ingredients are blended, slowly drizzle in the oil through the feed tube and combine until whipped to a smooth texture.

You’ll also want to make the dressing by stirring together the pomegranate molasses, maple syrup and olive oil.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, drain it in a colander and place it on a baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil over and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes.  Once it has a nice char over the top, remove it from the oven.

Spread some feta sauce over a platter and place the whole cauliflower over the sauce.

Drizzle with the pomegranate dressing and a little more olive oil.  Scatter pomegranate seeds and freshly chopped mint over the top prior to serving.

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Lastly, if you make Whole Roasted Cauliflower, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Makes: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour & 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour & 30 minutes


Roasted Cauliflower:

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Feta And Yogurt Sauce:

  • 5 ounces block-quality feta cheese, drained
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed

Pomegranate Dressing And Garnish:

  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses, homemade or store-bought
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Fresh mint leaves, chopped


Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with foil.

Grind 1/2 teaspoon of saffron threads (about 10 threads) in a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. This should yield about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of ground saffron. Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground saffron to 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside until ready to use.

Take the cauliflower, remove the larger tougher leaves, and trim the stalk a little. You still want the cauliflower to remain whole.

Fill a saucepan, large enough for the cauliflower to fit in it and be fully submerged, with water. Add kosher salt, turmeric, bloomed saffron, bay leaves and chopped garlic. Bring the cooking liquid to a low boil over medium high heat. Slowly and carefully lower the cauliflower top side down into the saucepan. Cover the pan with the lid and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the size of the cauliflower.

While the cauliflower cooks, combine the feta, Greek yogurt, crushed garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, pepper, in a food processor and blend. While the processor is running, drizzle the olive oil through the top opening, until whipped to a smooth texture. Set aside until ready to serve. Depending on the size of your cauliflower, you may have some leftover sauce for dips to use later in the week.

Take a small bowl and make the dressing by stirring together the pomegranate molasses, maple syrup and olive oil until fully incorporated. Set aside until ready to serve.

Once the cauliflower is tender enough to insert a knife in the stem without resistance use a large, slotted spoon or a large fork and tongs to remove it from the pot. Set it in a colander to drain well. Place the cauliflower stem-side down on a foil-lined baking tray. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the cauliflower and roast in the oven for approximately 40 to 45 minutes.

Once the cauliflower has cooked through and has charred a little on top, remove from the oven and assemble the final dish. Spread the feta and yogurt sauce on a serving dish. Place the whole roasted cauliflower on top of the feta and yogurt sauce.

Drizzle with the pomegranate dressing and a little more extra virgin olive oil if you wish. Scatter pomegranate seeds and freshly chopped mint before serving.

Recipe by The Mediterranean Dish


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    Recipe Reviews

    Avarage Rating:
    • 5 / 5
    Total Reviews:( 1 )
    • Harry

      This was delicious. I just happened to have bought 2 heads of cauliflower too. I was looking for a new way to have it, than just steaming or even boil it. This recipe came in handy and it was a very tasty way to have it. I doused it with pomegranate juice that I brought from Greece and it gave such a great salady taste. 👍

      • Francine

        So glad that you enjoyed this, Harry! Thanks for the comment!

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