Roasted Cauliflower With Ras el Hanout
The Argentine chef Tomás Kalika serves this delicious whole roasted cauliflower family-style at Mishiguene, his Buenos Aires restaurant Mr. Kalika adapted the idea from the chef Eyal Shani, whom he worked for in Israel, and who helped propel the whole roasted cauliflower to international fame. Poaching the cauliflower in advance ensures that it is tender and moist all the way through. You could easily substitute water for milk, particularly if the idea of discarding the milk bothers you. But Mr. Kalika says milk helps flavor the vegetable and encourage browning. (And the cauliflower-infused milk can be reused to make a béchamel sauce, for instance.)
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1head cauliflower, washed, with leaves intact
- 1teaspoon salt, more for seasoning
- ½gallon whole milk or water
- ⅓cup clarified butter (see note)
- 4teaspoons ras el hanout (see note)
- Salt, to taste
Step 1Place the cauliflower in a large pot and add the salt and milk (or water) until it’s covered. Top up with water if necessary to completely cover the cauliflower. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer gently until the cauliflower is very tender, about 45 minutes. When the pot is cool, transfer it to the refrigerator overnight.
Step 2The next day, heat oven to 450 degrees. Drain the cauliflower well and dry the surface with paper towels. (If you used milk, discard or save for use in another recipe.) Place it on a large sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan and drizzle the clarified butter all over the cauliflower, using your hands to make sure the surface is covered. Sprinkle the ras el hanout evenly over the surface and season generously with salt.
Step 3Wrap the parchment paper around the base of the cauliflower, leaving only the white part exposed. Roast in the paper for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. Serve hot.