How to Guide
Recipe courtesy of Heather Ramsdell Makes 4 to 6 servings
This destination cauliflower is as show-stopping as any roast, yet it’s incredibly simple to make. The tips of the florets are sweet and deep-golden brown and the center is soft and tender. The leaves crisp and their ruffled edges become crunchy and toasted. Cut the dome into four or six hefty wedges and serve it with a healthy dollop of the bright green walnut arugula pesto
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil on high heat.
Trim any dry ends from the leaves and, keeping the leaves attached. Trim the bottom of the cauliflower to help it sit flat. Lower the cauliflower into the water stem-side up, and boil until it is just tender enough to pierce with the tip of a paring knife, about 10 minutes.
Remove the cauliflower from the water with a large slotted spoon, being gentle enough to keep the surface unmarked. Set it stem side down and let it drain and dry in the air, about 5 minutes.
Season all over with salt and set it stem-side-down in a cast iron skillet. Drizzle with ¼ cup of the olive oil letting it seep in between the florets. Roast until the top and most of the sides are a deep golden-brown and the center is tender enough to easily pierce with a paring knife, about 50 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the walnut pesto. In a skillet, toast the walnuts on medium high heat, tossing frequently until aromatic and toasted in spots, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Chop garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Add the nuts and lemon zest and crank until crumbs. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the arugula and parsley and crank until finely chopped. Add in the cheese or nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt. Add the rest of the olive oil and the lemon juice. Thin with a tablespoon of water if a thinner consistency desired.
Set the hot cauliflower surrounded by its leaves on a platter. Cut into thick wedges and serve with walnut pesto on the side.