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roasted whole cauliflower with grape relish on top on plate
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5 from 6 votes

Roasted Head of Cauliflower with Grape Relish

This company-worthy roasted head of cauliflower, crowned with a bright zesty-sweet grape relish, makes a beautiful centerpiece for special occasions.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings (change as needed): 6 sides (or 3 mains)
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 whole cauliflower head

Dressing for Cauliflower

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (smoked or regular)
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce for medium spice level (or more to your taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper (or more to taste)

Grape Relish

  • lemon (zest plus juice) (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • 1 cup chopped seedless grapes (I use purple)
  • 1 teaspoon -2 maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste


  • HEAT OVEN TO 425F/218C. Line a rimmed baking sheet or cast-iron skillet with tin aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
  • MAKE SEASONING MIXTURE: Mix all ingredients for cauliflower seasoning mixture/dressing in a small measuring cup.
  • PREPARE AND ROAST CAULIFLOWER: Remove outer leaves from bottom of the cauliflower. Cut off bottom of the stem to create a flat bottom. Cut some of thick core out as well, careful not to dislodge any branches. Turn cauliflower over, core side up. Pour half of dressing to coat inside of cauliflower as much as possible and the other half over the top of the cauliflower to coat it well.
  • ROAST CAULIFLOWER (or Note 1 for shortcut). Place cauliflower on prepared baking sheet or skillet. Add half cup water to pan. Cover completely with tin foil. Place in oven to steam and soften for 20 minutes. Uncover cauliflower and place back in oven to roast for 20-30 minutes, uncovered, until golden brown and knife pierces it easily.
  • MAKE GRAPE RELISH: While cauliflower is roasting, mix all relish ingredients in a medium bowl to combine well.
  • SERVE: Transfer roasted cauliflower to a serving plate (over a bed of quinoa or rice if you like). Top with grape relish. To serve, slice down to cut wedges.


  1. Shortcut to steam cauliflower: Do the first part of the 'roasting' (which is actually steaming) in the microwave. Place cauliflower on microwaveable bowl/plate. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 6-8 minutes on High heat or until tender crisp. Continue with roasting as per instructions above. 
  2. Other shortcuts
    • Use store-bought seasoning: Instead of coating the cauliflower with a homemade mixture, use your favorite oil-based salad dressing such as Italian, Balsamic, Tahini sauce, Catalina, etc.
    • Skip the grape relish and use a store-bought fruit chutney. Or just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some fresh herbs.
  3. Seasoning variations: Try a very simple seasoning mixture of olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Or add some cumin, turmeric or curry powder.
  4. To make ahead:
    • The relish can be made a day or two ahead and stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
    • The cauliflower can be made ahead the same day and kept in a warm oven, then topped with the relish at serving time.
    • Or, do the covered part of the cauliflower roasting ahead of time, then the final uncovered roasting before serving.
Nutrition information is estimated and includes the grape relish. 
Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 421mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 621IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg