Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Parsley Pesto

Serves 4 as a main course; 8 as a side.

Note: The bright green sauce makes for a dramatic presentation. Be sure to pass a little extra on the side. From Beth Dooley.

For the cauliflower

• 1 1/4- to 2-lb. head of cauliflower

• 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed

• 1 tsp. coarse salt

For the parsley pesto

• 1/2 c. blanched almonds

• 1 c. chopped parsley

• 2 to 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tbsp. lemon juice or more to taste


For the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch pie plate or baking dish. Remove the outer leaves and core the cauliflower. Rinse briefly in cold water and shake.

Place the cauliflower head, core side down, on the pie plate. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Bake until the cauliflower is just becoming tender, about 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove the aluminum foil and baste with the oil and juices in the bottom of the pan. (If these are sparse, drizzle on a little more oil.) Continue roasting until the cauliflower begins to brown and becomes very tender, another 25 to 30 minutes.

For the pesto: Put the almonds, parsley, cheese, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again. Drizzle in the oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate 1/4 cup oil, about 20 to 30 seconds, then the lemon juice. Spoon a stripe over the roasted cauliflower and pass the remaining pesto on the side.

Nutrition information per each of 8 servings:


Fat17 g

Sodium435 mg

Carbohydrates6 g

Saturated fat2 g

Total sugars2 g

Protein4 g

Cholesterol1 mg

Dietary fiber2 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 3 ½ fat.