Blackened cauliflower recipe

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This recipe was inspired by a recent trip to Tel Aviv where celebrity chef Eyal Shani’s burnt cauliflower was all the rage. But, unlike the Israeli version I tried, here I pair the vegetable with Japanese sesame sauce. There are many different versions of this creamy dressing in Japan and each household will probably have their own. Some like it sweeter while others a tad tangier; texture can also be adapted to suit different tastes make it from toasted white sesame seeds for a nuttier and coarser texture, or use neri-goma or tahini (sesame seed paste) for a smoother dressing.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 cauliflower (about 600 g/1 lb 5 oz)
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quantity of Easy Sesame Dressing
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to its highest setting. Depending on how hot your oven will get, you may need to use the grill (broiler) at the end of the cooking process.
  2. Fill a pan (large enough to take the entire cauliflower) with salted water use 10 g (¼oz) of salt per 1 litre (1¾ pints/4 cups) of water. Bring to the boil, then add the whole cauliflower to the pan and simmer for 68 minutes until softened. Drain the cauliflower over a colander and leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Using your hands, gently baste the cauliflower head with the olive oil, and season with the salt and pepper.
  4. Place the cauliflower (head side up) on a baking tin (pan) lined with non-stick baking (parchment) paper. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until blackened.
  5. While the cauliflower is cooking, make the Easy Sesame Dressing.
  6. If the cauliflower is not thoroughly blackened after 30 minutes, place it under the grill (broiler) and let it blacken for 3-5 minutes, carefully rotating it so the entire upper part of the cauliflower is caramelized. Alternatively, use a blowtorch to blacken the cauliflower.
  7. Place the blackened cauliflower on a platter and serve it hot with the Easy Sesame Dressing.

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