Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Tahini Sauce

by Yotam Ottolenghi
Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Tahini Sauce


1 large cauliflower with its leaves intact
45g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 Tbsp olive oil
wedges of lemon, to serve
coarse sea salt

For the Green Tahini Sauce
80g tahini
3 Tbsp lemon juice
80ml warm water
1 clove of garlic, crushed
15g flat-leaf parsley (if making by hand, it should be finely chopped)
sea salt


Using a pair of scissors, lightly trim the leaves at the top of the cauliflower, so that about 5cm of the cauliflower’s head is exposed.

Fill a pan large enough to fit the cauliflower in salty water. Bring to a boil and carefully lower in the cauliflower exposed head down: don’t worry if the base sticks out a little. Bring back to a boil, cook for six minutes, then transfer the cauliflower to a colander, exposed head down. Set aside for 10 minutes, to drain and cool.

Heat the oven to 170C fan. Make the tahini sauce and set aside (optional). To make by hand, thoroughly whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, water and garlic in a bowl – you’re aiming for a creamy, smooth texture. If it’s too thick, add more water. Stir in the chopped parsley and taste; add salt if needed

Mix the butter with the oil. Put the cauliflower stem side down in a medium baking tray and spread the butter mix all over the cauliflower. Sprinkle over sea salt, and roast for 1.5 – 2 hours, basting the cauliflower with the buttery juices five or six times during cooking. The cauliflower is done when it’s super-tender and a dark golden-brown, and the leaves are crisp and charred.

Remove from the oven and serve with the green tahini sauce (optional) and a little extra salt for sprinkling on top.

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