This roasted cauliflower with almond sauce is a recipe of chef Mat Lindsay, from Ester, one of my favourite restaurants. I remember when the restaurant opened in 2013, vegetable dishes were a main feature of the menu, rather than an afterthought.
This dish looks so beautiful, and it’s a really elegant edition to a festive dinner. I quite like to use smoked almonds as a garnish. The almond sauce is also delicious poured over roasted broccoli or steamed beans. Your local market may have different varieties of cauliflower. Why not roast a yellow or purple cauliflower?
I’m taking this dish to my sister’s Christmas in July celebration this weekend. Do you celebrate Christmas in July?
If you like interesting side dishes, you might like to try this dish of Brussel sprouts with chorizo and muscatels.
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Roasted Cauliflower with Almond Sauce
- 1 head cauliflower
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup smoked almonds
- 1 cup mint leaves
- extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle on top
- 100 g almond meal grind whole raw almonds to make your own
- 200 g extra virgin olive oil
- 2 egg yolks
- brown rice vinegar, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Peel off the tough large outer leaves, then quarter the cauliflower, remove some of the core, and steam on high for around 10 minutes or until a skewer goes into the stem easily.
- Heat the oven to as hot as you can get it (mine goes to 250°C). Place the steamed cauliflower in a roasting tray or a cast-iron pan and roast until it's dark golden brown for about 10 -15 minutes. It will char on the top, which adds flavour.
- Remove from the oven and dress with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Cover a plate with the almond sauce and sit the cauliflower on top, and scatter with almonds and mint.
- Place the almond meal in a saucepan with 150ml water and a little of the oil and heat gently until the almond just starts to swell (this makes it easier to blend).
- Pour the almond mixture into a blender and process to a smooth paste, then season to taste with brown rice vinegar (start with 1 tbsp, then add more if you need it) and sea salt. With the blender running, add the egg yolks, then add the oil in a thin, steady stream until thick and creamy.
- Check seasoning and set aside at room temperature.