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"jerk out" whole roasted jerk cauliflower

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Super tender, flavor that's fire, and visually stunning this whole roasted cauliflower is perfect as a rut breaking main dish or a show-stopping appetizer at a dinner party. whole roasted cauliflower in cast-iron skillet

Cauliflower recipes don't have to be boring and basic. I like a nice mashed cauliflower, but cauliflower is destined for so much more. Roast it and enjoy it's texture.

This recipe represents the continuing evolution of two things I'm super passionate about; one - making cauliflower a star and two - jerking everything in sight! If you've followed the blog, then you've probably seen recipes for smoked cauliflower, fried, or roasted whole or roasted. This was my attempt at vegan Jamaican food if you will.

MOOD MUSIC

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER INGREDIENTS

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS FOR ROASTING WHOLE CAULIFLOWER

Prepare the cauliflower

Remove the leaves and cut away as much of the stem as you can without the florets falling apart from the base.

Bring the wine, water, lemon juice, jerk seasoning, salt, and bay leaf to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes. Be careful not to cook too much so stay right around 5 minutes. After 2 minutes of cooking flip the cauliflower with a large slotted spoon and cook for the remaining 3 minutes.

whole yellow cauliflower in poaching liquid

Transfer the cauliflower stem side down to a colander and drain for 10 minutes.

whole cauliflower draining in a colander

Make the basting sauce

While the cauliflower drains,  mix the olive oil and jerk marinade in a bowl.

Roast the jerk cauliflower

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Transfer cauliflower stem side down to a cast-iron skillet or oven-proof pan. Brush the oil and jerk mixture over the cauliflower. Reserve about a ¼ of the oil/marinade mixture.

Roast the cauliflower, rotating the dish once or twice. Spoon any oil drippings and/or reserved marinade mixture over the cauliflower every 8 minutes or so.

whole roasted jerk cauliflower baking in oven

Remove the cauliflower after about 20-25 minutes. There should be a fair amount of browning and a knife should be able to easily pierce the center of the cauliflower. Let cool.

whole roasted cauliflower in cast-iron skillet

COOKING CONSIDERATIONS

Treat the cauliflower (or any vegetable for that matter) as you would a meat protein. Meaning - go all out with the same level of thoughtfulness and obsessing in the form of rubs, marinades, etc. and you will end up with something extraordinary. A whole roasted cauliflower should be loved like a pot roast.

All cauliflower types work for this recipe, but colored ones present really well. Choose smaller cauliflower heads over large ones. Larger ones are a challenge to achieving a fully cooked center without overcooking the exterior.

Cooking time will vary somewhat depending on the size of the cauliflower.

Boiling the cauliflower in seasoned broth seasons the interior. This is where this recipe WINS as you get that jerk flavor inside and out. The outer surface retains flavors well whether from herbs, rubs, marinades. Slow cooking and frequent basting nets a tender center.

Proper draining of the cauliflower is essential. This step plus the actual roasting help preserve the natural crunchy texture. Otherwise, the cauliflower is soft and near mushy. Don't leave the cauliflower in the water longer than the recipe calls for as you don't want it to absorb too much liquid which will impact texture. 

Don't be afraid to baste. Using a towel or glove tilt the skillet slightly and scoop the juices up with a spoon and repeatedly pour on top of the cauliflower.

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Which Commercial Brand Jerk Marinade works best?

You're definitely free to make my homemade version, but there are a few easily accessible quality ones available in most mainstream grocery stores. I use Walkerswood most frequently but have been satisfied with Grace and Matouk's as well. Walkerswood offers both traditional spicy and mild versions and tends to have the widest distribution.

Does this recipe work with other flavors or ingredients?

This recipe is heavy on the jerk side, but cauliflower pairs well with any flavor. The process is foolproof, but feel free to go with your preferred flavor profile. If you want a more Spanish profile go with a heavy paprika scented rub or if Korean is your thing make a gochujang sauce to baste the cauliflower with.

Does cauliflower have protein?

Whole roasted cauliflower is a great meatless alternative. But not surprisingly the question of protein always comes up when talking vegan meat replacement options. Like broccoli, cauliflower provides a high amount of protein for the number of calories it delivers. One cup of cauliflower weighs 100 grams and contains 2 grams of protein. Protein accounts for 19% of its calories.

What are the health benefits of cauliflower?

Cauliflower contains a high amount of fiber, which is important for digestive health and may reduce the risk of several chronic diseases. The fact that it's also low in calories in conjunction with fiber content makes it perfect for weight loss. Lastly, Cauliflower provides a significant amount of antioxidants, which aid in reducing inflammation

MORE RECIPES

CAULIFLOWER RECIPES

I write a lot about cooking cauliflower and include several good recipes below:

Smoked Whole Cauliflower

Cauliflower Curry

Cheesy Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower and Potato Soup

2-Step Roasted Cauliflower

Grilled Whole Cauliflower with Alabama White BBQ Sauce

JERK BASED RECIPES

Instant Pot Jerk Chicken

Jerk Chicken Thighs

Jerk Chicken Wings

Jerk Baby Back Ribs

Smoked Jerk Chicken

Jerk Smoked Oxtails

Whole Roasted Jerk Cauliflower

Jerk Marinated Onion Steaks

Making Jerk Roasted Cauliflower Head

If you make this delicious whole roasted cauliflower recipe, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them. 

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

whole roasted jerk cauliflower in a skillet

Whole Roasted Jerk Cauliflower

Super tender, flavorful, & visually stunning rut breaking main dish or show stopping appetizer.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 250kcal
Author: Marwin Brown

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 ½ cups dry white wine
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon jerk spice mix
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup jerk marinade Walkerswood is a good store-bought alternative

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 475°.
  • Bring wine, jerk seasoning, kosher salt, lemon juice, bay leaf, and 8 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes EXACTLY starting from the time you drop the cauliflower into the pot. Flip the cauliflower with a large spoon after the first two minutes.
  • Transfer the cauliflower stem side down to a colander and drain for 10 minutes.
  • While cauliflower drains mix olive oil and jerk marinade in a mixing bowl.
  • Transfer cauliflower stem side down to a cast iron skillet or oven proof pan. Rub the top with oil and jerk marinade mixture. Reserve some of the oil marinade mixture.
  • Roast, rotating the dish once or twice. Spoon any oil drippings and/or reserved oil marinade mixture over the cauliflower in 8-10 minute increments until the cauliflower browns and a knife/metal skewer when inserted to the center meets no resistance roughly 20-25 minutes.
  • Let cool for five minutes before serving.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Serve the cauliflower whole or cut into wedges for a main dish, otherwise chop into florets.
Treat the cauliflower (or any vegetable for that matter) as you would a meat protein. Meaning - go all out with the same level of thoughtfulness and obsessing in the form of rubs, marinades, etc. and you will end up with something extraordinary. A whole roasted cauliflower should be loved like a pot roast.
All cauliflower types work for this recipe, but colored ones present really well. Choose smaller cauliflower heads over large ones. Larger ones are a challenge to achieving a fully cooked center without overcooking the exterior.
Cooking time will vary somewhat depending on the size of the cauliflower. 

Boiling the cauliflower in seasoned broth seasons the interior. This is where this recipe WINS as you get that jerk flavor inside and out. The outer surface retains flavors well whether from herbs, rubs, marinades. Slow cooking and frequent basting nets a tender center.

Proper draining of the cauliflower is essential. This step plus the actual roasting help preserve the natural crunchy texture. Otherwise, the cauliflower is soft and near mushy. Don't leave the cauliflower in the water longer than the recipe calls for as you don't want it to absorb too much liquid which will impact texture. 
Don't be afraid to baste. Using a towel or glove tilt the skillet slightly and scoop the juices up with a spoon and repeatedly pour on top of the cauliflower.

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1847mg | Potassium: 221mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1185IU | Vitamin C: 12.9mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1.2mg
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Recipe Rating




Jerk Roasted Cauliflower – jasonlacarl.com

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

[…] This recipe for Jerk Roasted Cauliflower from FoodFidelity.com has been in the queue for a while. Lent created the perfect opportunity to try it, and it did not disappoint! This recipe is going to be in heavy rotation. […]

Marwin Brown

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Thank u Sir!

Tamstylesfit

Monday 20th of April 2020

Thanks. Do you have a good spicy jerk sauce recipe? Off topic... I’m looking for a good sweet potato fry dip. No may. Preferably with honey and heat. Suggestions?

Marwin Brown

Monday 20th of April 2020

Here is a jerk marinade I make/use https://www.foodfidelity.com/jerk-marinade/. It's got a lot flavor. You can dial the heat up or down by the amount of seeds from the peppers you leave in. For a sweet potato dip try this roasted red pepper sauce https://www.foodfidelity.com/roasted-red-pepper-sauce/. I use it as a dip or sauce. Try either or both and let me know what you think.

Tamstyles

Friday 10th of April 2020

What would the jerk seasonings be? Or are you speaking of store bought?

Marwin Brown

Saturday 11th of April 2020

If there is a store-bought one you like use it as it will save you time. I typically make my own, but because not everyone can find ground scotch bonnet/habanero I tend to recommend store-bought. Feel free to make your own or adapt this one to your taste preferences by dialing up/down any of the ingredients especially the hot ground pepper . 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon 1/2 tbsp Nutmeg 1 tbsp All Spice 1 1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder 1 1/2 tbsp Onion Powder 1 tsp Kosher Salt 1 tsp Black Pepper 1 tsp Sage 2 tbsp Dried Chives 1 tbsp Dried Thyme 2 tbsp Brown Sugar 1 tbsp Ground Ginger 1 tbsp ground habanero (or cayenne)

Immaculate Ruému

Thursday 6th of September 2018

Looks so delicious and Jerk is one of my favourite seasonings.

Shanika

Thursday 6th of September 2018

I don't even know what to say! I'm loving cauliflower right now and THIS LOOKS BEYOND GOOD! Pinned!