Cauliflower roast with salsa

Liz O'Keefe's cauliflower roast is smothered in tangy goats' cheese sauce and served with spicy basil salsa for a striking vegetarian centrepiece
By Liz O'Keefe
Cauliflower roast with salsa
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 large cauliflower, trimmed and left whole
  • 200 g spinach
  • 70 g basil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped, reserving 1 tbsp of the oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 150 ml milk
  • 125 g soft goats' cheese
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • pink peppercorns, crushed, to serve


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Parboil the whole cauliflower in a large saucepan of boiling water for 5 minutes, turning over once half way through. Drain the cauliflower and place on a baking dish, then bake for 20 minutes, until slightly golden.

2. To make the salsa, combine the spinach, basil, garlic, reserved sundried tomato oil, olive oil and lemon juice in a blender until a salsa-like consistency. Stir in the onion, sundried tomatoes and chilli, season and chill until use.

3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 1 minute, so it forms a paste. Turn the heat to low and stir in the milk gradually. The sauce should be thick at this point. Stir in the goats cheese, then cook, stirring, for 1 minute, or until the cheese melts and combines with the sauce. Season with crushed pink peppercorns, salt and pepper.

4. Pour the sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Serve in slices with the spicy salsa on the side.

For more meat free feasts, see our vegetarian recipes

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