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Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Marcona Almond Pesto | @foodiephysician

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Marcona Almond Pesto

This visually stunning whole roasted cauliflower has a beautiful, golden brown crust and pairs perfectly with my Marcona Almond Pesto.

Course Entree, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author The Foodie Physician



  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Marcona Almond Pesto:

  • 2 ounces basil (about 2 packed cups)
  • 1/3 cup Marcona almonds
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil

For serving:

  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • Marcona almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place a baking dish with some water in it on the lowest shelf of the oven to create steam.
  2. Pull the outer leaves of the cauliflower off and cut off the stem. Using a paring knife, carefully cut out part of the core (about an inch of it) so that the cauliflower can sit flat. Be careful not to cut off the florets.
  3. Place the cauliflower cut side down in a seasoned cast iron skillet. Drizzle the olive oil all over the cauliflower, rubbing it into all of the crevices. Sprinkle with salt.
  4. Roast the cauliflower on the middle shelf of the oven until tender, about 60-75 minutes. Baste the surface with olive oil occasionally as it cooks.
  5. While the cauliflower is cooking, make the pesto. Place the basil, almonds, cheese, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Stream in the olive oil and continue to process until it is almost smooth but still has a little texture. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of water to thin the sauce out slightly.
  6. To serve, spread some of the pesto out on a plate and carefully place the whole roasted cauliflower on top using a spatula. Sprinkle with golden raisins and Marcona almonds. Cut into wedges and serve.