The idea behind this whole roasted cauliflower skillet is to have it look like a turkey… hence the cauli floret booties. Comical, but in reality there’s no unsightly animal bones that need covering up. Regardless of its turkey-like appearance, it’s SUPER tasty and very savory. In fact, this gravy that’s basted all over the cauliflower might just be your new fave go-to vegan gravy recipe! I’ve made a cauliflower roast in the past, but didn’t quite get the sauce rolled around the inside enough. Both are delicious, but I think this cauliflower skillet really hits the nail on the head! I nearly ate the entire thing.
You can see how it all came together in this week’s Thanksgiving challenge video.
Here’s the recipe for the Thanksgiving mashed potato waffles.
whole roasted cauliflower skillet
The cauliflower roast trumps a bird at the dinner table any night of the week!
cauliflower & vegetables
- 1 large cauliflower
- 1 large carrot, thick cut diagonally
- 2 C halved small red potatoes
- 1 red onion, cut into a large dice
- 3 sprigs of rosemary, snipped into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 C vegan butter
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (can substitute dried herb)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme (can substitute dried herb)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 C low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1/2 C maple syrup
- 2/3 C tahini (roasted works better over a raw type)
- 2 tbsp vegan worcestershire
- 1/4 C low-sodium vegetable stock
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Prepare all your cut up vegetables and herbs. Toss the potatoes, carrots, onions, and rosemary with sea salt and ground black pepper.
To prepare the whole cauliflower, remove the excess green leaves. Trim the stock so the cauliflower is able to sit flat into a roasting pan or skillet and remove any tough exterior of the remaining stalk so just the florets are visible. Be careful not to cut too deep into the bottom so the florets don't come apart from the entire head of cauliflower.
To prepare the gravy, heat a saucepan over medium and add vegan butter. Once melted, add the minced garlic and shallot. Stir and cook this until softened for about 2 minutes. Then add nutmeg, celery salt, rosemary and thyme and continue stirring for another minute.
Combine cornstarch with water to make a slurry and add that along with the tamari, maple syrup, tahini, and worcestershire, whisking to combine well. Whisk occasionally as you bring the gravy to a low simmer. Once it's bubbling, lower heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. This should be a thick but pourable consistency so it coats the cauliflower and sticks to it without dripping too much into the roasting pan. If you need to thin it out, use a small amount of low-sodium vegetable stock to reach the right consistency.
Start by placing the cauliflower upside down in the cast iron skillet so the bottom is exposed. Pour a couple tablespoons of gravy into the bottom so it gets into the florets. You can also use a turkey baster to get into the bottom of the cauliflower head. You can also pick it up and move it around a little. Then flip it back up and pour half of the gravy that's in the sauce pan on top. Use a brush to coat the entire cauliflower with the sauce.
Surround the cauliflower with the seasoned carrots, potatoes, onion, and most of the rosemary sprigs (leaving a few pieces for a final garnish).
Roast this for 25 to 30 minutes. At this point, it should have a nice deep brown color and there should be plenty of juices at the bottom of the pan that you can toss the surrounding vegetables in. You can also use some of it to baste the cauliflower.
Continue to roast for another 25 to 30 minutes until it's a deep golden brown.
When you remove the finished roast and vegetables, if there's any excess liquid in the bottom of the pan, use the baster to add it back into the saucepan with the remaining gravy.
Heat the leftover gravy on the stove top over medium heat, whisking until heated through. Serve this alongside the whole cauliflower roast, and guests can add more gravy as they wish.
Garnish the final dish with the last few fresh rosemary sprigs and serve immediately.