Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce and Parsley-Spinach Pesto


Creating a Vegan Centerpiece

Food that is visually appealing just tastes better. Your brain sees beautiful food and automatically prepares your taste buds for an exquisite meal. This Whole Roasted Cauliflower is one of my favorite recipes to create because it looks as impressive and delicious as it tastes.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower lends itself to so many different recipes, from soups and sauces, to side dishes galore, to this recipe where it is the main attraction. Whole roasted cauliflower is so quick and simple to make, and the cauliflower stays juicy and provides a great receptacle for the spicy sauce.

How to Trim Stalk

To prep your cauliflower, first rinse and pat dry. Then remove the outer leaves and cut the stem off the bottom. Next, cut out the woody center of the bottom stalk, but be careful to not cut too much off, as cooking whole cauliflower requires the head to stay intact.

Tahini Sauce

Tahini can separate and get hard. If this happens, mix the oil back in by stabbing the dry hard parts with a chopstick. Yes, a chopstick. Then you can insert a knife or small spatula to stir until smooth. You can also gently heat the ingredients in the sauce to help thin it out.

Parsley-Spinach Pesto

Basil and other herbs are expensive. This pesto made with spinach will save you money, but it doesn’t skimp on taste. With garlic, vegan parmesan, lemon juice, and other flavors, it makes the perfect compliment to this dish.

Make it a Meal

Compliment this dish with a side of perfectly cooked rice!


Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce and Parsley-Spinach Pesto

Rated 5 out of 5
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: Up to 1 Hour
Yield:2-3 servings



For the Cauliflower

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut off bottom stalk of cauliflower while leaving head intact. Peel off the green leaves. Place upside down on baking sheet.
  3. Next, whisk together olive oil, water, and spices. Pour 2/3rds of oil mixture into crevices of upside down cauliflower. Flip right side up and brush the top evenly with remaining oil.
  4. Bake until fork pierces cauliflower easily, 35-55 minutes.

For the Pesto

  1. In a food processor or blender first chop up the pine nuts and garlic, pulsing several times.
  2. Add the spinach, parsley, vegan cheese, lemon zest and juice and salt. Blend until smooth stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
  3. Slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup of olive oil while blending. You may want to add more depending on how thick you want the sauce. I added in one extra tablespoon, but do what feels right.

For the Tahini Sauce

  1. Whisk together all the tahini sauce ingredients until smooth.

To Serve

  1. Smear the pesto on the bottom of a platter.
  2. Place whole cauliflower on top.
  3. Pour tahini sauce over cauliflower, garnish with fresh parsley, stab with a steak knife, and serve warm.

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Rated 5 out of 5
January 12, 2021

This was so delicious! I’ve sent several people to your blog for this recipe. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks!