Whole Braised Cauliflower With Salsa Verde Orzo
This fancy dinner is perfect for vegans and cauliflower lovers alike. Using an entire head of cauliflower as the centerpiece, this recipe gets all of its delicious flavor from an easy braising process. As the cauliflower braises away, prepare a bed of spicy, tangy orzo for an extra pretty presentation.
1 hr 24 min
1 hr 24 min
for 2 servings
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 medium head cauliflower, greens trimmed and stem removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups vegetable stock (480 mL), divided
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 lemons, zested
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 6 sprigs fresh parsley, plus 1 tablespoon, chopped, for serving
Salsa Verde Orzo
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 large shallot
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 1 cup fresh mint leaf (40 g)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup olive oil (60 mL)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup orzo (200 g), cooked
- Make the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
- In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Add the head of cauliflower to a medium bowl and rub the spice mixture all over. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large Dutch oven or cast iron pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, use tongs to transfer the seasoned cauliflower to the pot and sear for 1–2 minutes per side, until golden brown all over. Remove the cauliflower from the pot and set aside.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, along with the onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent, 5–7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1–2 minutes.
- Deglaze the pot with ½ cup (120 ml) of the vegetable stock, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the honey, lemon zest, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Return the cauliflower to the pot, along with the remaining 1½ cups (360 ml) vegetable stock and the sprigs of parsley.
- Cover the pot with a lid and transfer to the oven. Braise the cauliflower for 35–40 minutes, until tender but still holding together.
- While the cauliflower is braising, make the salsa verde: Add the garlic, shallot, parsley, mint, and cilantro to a food processor. Process for 1–2 minutes, until finely chopped.
- With the processor running, add the olive oil, salt, red wine vinegar, and cumin. Process until smooth, thick, and light green in color.
- Add the orzo to a medium bowl and spoon in the salsa verde. Toss until the orzo is well coated.
- Remove the cauliflower from the braising liquid and return the pot to the stove over medium heat. Reduce the braising liquid for 10–12 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt to taste.
- Scoop the orzo onto a serving platter and place the cauliflower on top. Spoon the reduced braising liquid over the cauliflower. Garnish with the chopped parsley.
- Serve warm.
- Don't just wing it -- plan it! Use our meal planner tool in the Tasty app. Download here.