Whole Roasted Cauliflower and Why Everyone Can Love This

Israeli inspired Whole Cauliflower

Roasted Whole Cauliflower

The way to cook veggies that even haters will love


Veggie lovers need no convincing, roasted cauliflower is simply yummy.  Well roasted veggies can turn even of the pickiest of eaters into raving fans.


If you or someone you live with has not yet been enlightened to the tastiness of this simple cooking technique, you can start off with a simpler version.  Just take almost any cut up veggies, slather them in olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever other seasonings you like, then stick them on a roasting pan and cook until they’re a little brown around the edges.


For tender, slow roasted veggies, I cook at 355 – 360 degrees.  This recipe calls for the highest temperature.


If you’re ready to step up your roasted veggie game, this is the recipe your family will be clamoring for.  I might also add that cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies, especially roasted.


Out of the blue, a gym friend sent me this recipe.  According the article he sent me,  this is one of the most popular dishes at a NYC restaurant manned by a famous Israeli chef.  I don’t know how he knew I was a cauliflower fan.


The ingredients are minimal so you probably won’t need to pick up anything special.  The only thing I didn’t have was the fancy salt they use at the restaurant.  So I made due with my own coarse kosher sea salt.  I’m sure there are people who can taste the differences between salts.  My palate isn’t quite that sophisticated.


Before I get to the recipe, I want to give some good PR to my favorite cruciferous vegetable.


Cauliflower is a powerhouse of good-for-you-ness


Cauliflower is loaded with Vitamins C and K, as well as a substantial amount of B Vitamins and minerals.


It’s high in fiber which most meat eaters need more of.


Because it’s a cruciferous veg, it’s high in the potent antioxidants, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates like sulforaphane, that have been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells.  But it has even more cancer fighting and disease reducing antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids and good old Vitamin C.


Studies on sulforaphane found it helps suppress cancer growth and may destroy cells that have already been damaged.


Cauliflower is also good for weight loss.  For those of us who are cutting (or trying to cut) out most starchy carbs like rice, pasta and bread, cauliflower makes an excellent substitute.  Cauliflower rice, pizza crust, tortillas, hummus and even cauliflower mac and cheese have made cutting carbs so much easier!


Sold yet?

Now on to the cooking!




  • 1 Head of cauliflower with leaves
  • 2 gallons of water
  • 7 Tbsps of fancy salt.  I just used coarse kosher sea salt but they used sel gris (sounds fancy!)
  • 3 Tbsps of high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. (I get mine from Trader Joe’s because a client of mine from Italy who is also a great cook said that’s what she uses!)




Preheat oven to 550 F with oven rack in center.
Trim the leaves so they’re short and cut the stem so it can stand upright.
Bring 2 gallons of water to a boil on high heat and stir in 6.5 tsps of the salt.
Place cauliflower in the water and put a plate or something on top so it stays submerged.
Boil until tender (about 12-13 min).
Gently lift cauliflower out of the pot and put it on something where the water can drain out of it.
When it’s dry enough, rub it all over with olive oil and the remaining salt.
Place it stem side down in a baking pan and bake until browned (about 25) min.
You can add a little more olive oil when you take it out of the oven.
For a topping, I added a light sprinkle of dried cumin, pumpkin spice and basil.
Jill Brown
Jill Brown
Hi, I'm JillI am a Los Angeles based Fitness + Nutrition Coach. With 20+ years of experience in teaching, training and continuing my education, I have transformed thousands of lives through fitness and healthy lifestyle changes.