Cauliflower Sunday roast & its vegetables
Cauliflower Sunday roast is a vegetarian (and vegan) dish ideal for those trying to eat as less meat as possible or are in a process of getting rid of it completely. Rich in flavour and fulfilling, it will pass the test of standing in for your Sunday meat roasts with aplomb. Sitting in a cast-iron casserole pot in your oven, vegetables cook slowly in their juices enveloping your home with mouth-watering fragrances.
Serves: 6. Total time: 2h 15min (preparation 15 min, oven cooking 2h)
1 Cauliflower (medium-big)
2 Carrots (medium)
2 Potatoes (medium-big)
1 Onion (big)
8 Garlic cloves (small and medium)
1 Leek (medium)
2 Courgettes (medium)
150 ml of Water
8-10 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 level tablespoon of Turmeric
2 teaspoons of Thyme (fresh or dry)
2 Laurel leaves (dry)
1 tablespoon of Parsley (fresh or dry)
Several pinches of coarse salt depending on how salty you like it (unrefined sea salt or Himalayan pink salt)
Winter version: replace the 2 courgettes with 4-5 Jerusalem artichokes or with 3-4 Jerusalem artichokes and 1 parsnip.
Summer version: replace the potatoes with 2 aubergines (small-medium) and 2 ripe tomatoes.
PREPARATION & COOKING
- Start by removing the green leaves protecting the cauliflower and its solid base. Dig the knife a little into that solid base to make a shallow hole. Wash the cauliflower, turn it upside down and pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil inside, among the flowers (curds) so it spreads inside as much as possible. Stick 4-5 small garlic cloves in between the curds and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place it in the middle of your cast-iron casserole pot in its upright position. Brush it with the mix of: 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of thyme and 1 level tablespoon of turmeric. Cover the pot, place it in the oven and bake at 200°C for 1 hour (no need to pre-heat the oven).
- While the cauliflower is simmering, peel and wash the vegetables.Cut the onion in half and chop it in about 2mm wide half-rings. Chop the leek in rings of the same width too. Cut the carrots, the potatoes and the zucchini in the same width slices.
It is better not to do it much in advance since the vitamins will perish when they are exposed to air and light. Since I buy organic vegetables I do not peel the vegetable that do not need it, like courgette for example. Remember, the vitamins are mostly concentrated right under the skin, in the seeds and roots of the vegetable (or fruit).
- Take the cauliflower out of the oven after 1 hour of baking and pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil around it at the bottom of the pot. Place your vegetables in layers around the cauliflower, starting with those which need to be cooked more. The onions at the bottom and then the carrots. Sprinkle them with 1 pinch of salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of thyme and 1/2 a tablespoon of parsley. The 3rd layer should be the potatoes and the rest of the garlic cloves. The last two should be the leek and the courgettes. Repeat the same sprinkling: 1 pinch of salt, 1/2 a teaspoon of thyme and 1/2 a tablespoon of parsley. Stick the two laurel leaves on opposite sides and soak it all with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 150 ml of water.
- Cover the pot and put it back in the oven for another hour at 200°C.
When it is ready, let it cool down a bit before enjoying it. The flavours are much stronger when the dish is not too hot 🙂