The delicate flavours of cauliflower make it a great compliment when something subtle is centre stage and doesn’t want to be overwhelmed (think scallops with cauliflower puree), but when it is the cauliflower itself we want to celebrate (as we should now it’s in season!), it can be emboldened as it has been here. The paprika rub gives a sweet smokiness but still lets the beautiful roasted cauliflower flavours be the star of the show.
I stole this idea from Jamie Oliver, but have adapted it slightly for tried & tested blissful results every time.
Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, zest & juice of
1 large cauliflower
4 tablespoons dry sherry
40g flaked or whole almonds
Place the peeled garlic, paprika and thyme into a pestle and bash into a paste. Muddle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Trim the leaves from the cauliflower, trim the base just to it sits flat and cut a cross into the base. Rub the paste all over. Put in a casserole and drizzle over the sherry and lemon juice. Cover and put in the oven for an hour, removing halfway through to, spoon over the juices from the base of the dish. After roasting for an hour, remove the lid and roast for a further 20 minutes until tender.
While roasting, put the flaked almonds in a pan. If using whole almonds, splinter them into flakes with a sharp knife. Toast in the dry pan until lightly coloured and aromatic.
Sprinkle over the lemon zest and almond flakes and serve.