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Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free

My Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower is a show-stopping centrepiece with a Middle-Eastern spicy paste, toasted pine nuts, sweet pomegranate, and served over a bed of creamy lemon and garlic Greek yoghurt. It can be baked in the oven or air fryer and is gluten-free, healthy, simple to make and can easily be made dairy-free. It's fragrant, delicious and the perfect side dish.


Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free
Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free

This recipe transforms a simple cauliflower into a beautiful, appetising and delicious meal. Roasting the cauliflower brings out its natural sweetness, creating a lovely contrast to the harissa paste and similarly, the harissa paste is a spicy contrast to the cooling effects of the Greek yoghurt, resulting in a meal that is a symphony of tastes and textures.


Watch How to Make It


Why you'll love this Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower
  • It's a great side dish or served as a main meal when paired with steak, chicken, steamed rice, quinoa, tofu or chickpeas.

  • It's very simple to make, needing minimal effort and cleanup.

  • It's simple enough to make any night of the week and fancy enough to present to guests.

  • It's wholesome and nutritious and a great way to enjoy vegetables.

  • It can be cooked in both the oven and air fryer.

  • It's gluten-free, grain-free, and vegetarian

  • It can be made vegan and dairy-free by substituting the Greek yoghurt with vegan or dairy-free options.


Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free
Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free

Helpful Tips

Size of the cauliflower: the cooking times are for a small cauliflower at approximately 15-17cm in diameter.


Tender Cauliflower: It is firstly important to remove the thick centre stem as this takes longer to cook. This recipe creates creamy cauliflower florets, and the stems have a bit of a bite. For a more tender cauliflower, microwave for 4 minutes before coating it with the harissa paste.


Make it Vegan or Dairy-Free: simply use vegan and dairy-free options by substituting the Greek yoghurt with vegan or dairy-free alternatives.


Alternatives to Harissa Paste: sambal oleck, chilli bean paste, sriracha, or gochujang are easy alterntaives.


Serving it hot or at room temperature: the beauty of this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. If you still want to serve it hot, then make it ahead of time and pop into the oven or air fryer to reheat before serving it over the yoghurt.


Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free
Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free

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Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free
Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free

Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

Prep 5 minutes

Cook for 50 minutes air fryer / 1 hour 10 minutes oven


INGREDIENTS


Cauliflower:

1 small cauliflower

2-3 tablespoons harissa paste, gluten-free

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup parsley, finely chopped

¼ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

¼ cup pomegranate

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon ground coriander

Generous amount of sea salt and ground pepper


Lemon and Garlic Yoghurt:

1 full cup (250g) Greek yoghurt (or dairy-free Greek yoghurt)

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


INSTRUCTIONS


1. Preheat the oven or air fryer: Heat the oven at 190°C fan forced or if using the air fryer at 200°C. Line a baking tin with baking paper. Note: if using the air fryer, make sure the tin can fit into the air fryer OR place baking paper directly into the basket once it's heated.


2. Prepare the ingredients: Remove and wash the leaves and core from the cauliflower whilst keeping the cauliflower head intact. Chop them into small bite-size pieces and place them onto the baking paper. Drizzle 2 tablespoons and season with the paprika and coriander and add a good amount of sea salt and pepper.


3. Prepare and season the cauliflower: Place the cauliflower head onto the leaves and drizzle the remaining oil over the top. Next, using a brush, spread the harissa paste into all the nooks and crannies of the cauliflower, making sure it is coated well. Don’t forget to coat the bottom of the cauliflower, and add more harissa and olive oil if needed. Season with sea salt and pepper.


4. Bake: Place into the oven for 1 hour OR into the air fryer for 50 minutes or until reached desired tenderness. Please note: florets will be tender and stems, slightly firm with a bit of a bite.


5. Prepare the yoghurt and pine nuts: In the meantime, combine the yoghurt, garlic and lemon juice. Place into the refrigerator until needed. Pour pine nuts into a small pan and place on the stovetop. Continuously stirring, toast for 3-4 minutes or until lightly golden.


6. Garnish and Serve: Remove the cauliflower from the oven or air fryer. Spread most of the yoghurt onto a serving plate and top it with the leaves, and cauliflower head. Pour the juices from the bottom of the tray over the cauliflower. Drizzle the remaining yoghurt sauce over the cauliflower head, and top it with the parsley leaves, pine nuts and pomegranate. Serve and enjoy.

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Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free
Harissa Whole Baked Cauliflower, gluten-free

Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

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