Whole cauliflower in tomato and olive gravy


4-baked cauliflower in tomato and olive sauce

By Executioner (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Eating cauliflower in its boiled or steamed form is so revolting! It’s a bland blunder with an obnoxious smell which makes even a health-freak like Drilldoggy throw up. But how can he keep himself away from the immense health benefits of cauliflower. Indeed, the vitamins, minerals plus anti-oxidants in it, its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying property are hard to ignore. No wonder, Drilldoggy has come up with a great idea to make cauliflower palatable and exciting to our taste buds.

A cauliflower might be a disaster when served just like that. But when spiked with flavorsome ingredients like tomatoes, olives, aromatic herbs and anchovies, the outcome is awesome. A whole cauliflower is poached in a tangy tomato sauce until the latter seeps into the steamed cauliflower and turns every bite into an explosion of flavors.

It’s the soft, silky and tender interior which will grab your attention; the flavors are mild yet compliment the delicious sauce perfectly. Overall, this unconventional dish makes a grand presentation on a festive table and is bound to be hit among your guests. And you must be happy too? After all, you have finally found a great way to make cauliflower delicious!


Serves: 4

  • 1 large head cauliflower, green leaves peeled off and stalk chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • Handful of black olives, pitted
  • 1 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cans (400 g each) plum tomatoes
  • Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and coarsely chopped
  • 4 salted anchovies in oil, drained and sliced
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • Olive oil, as required


  • Heat a good lug of oil in a large pan and toss in the garlic, onion as well as cauliflower stalk chunks.
  • Sauté for 10 minutes over gentle heat, stirring often, until they turn soft and browns slightly.
  • Stir in the olives, chopped parsley as well as anchovies into the mixture and continue to stir fry for another 2 minutes or so.
  • Empty the can of plum tomatoes into the pan and pour I enough water so that half of the pan is filled.
  • Add a large splash of red wine vinegar and cook briefly while breaking the tomatoes with the wooden spoon.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil and lower the whole cauliflower carefully into the pan so that half of it remains submerged in the sauce while the rest of it remains above it.
  • Smother it with a lashing of olive oil and place a lid on top.
  • Cook over slow flame for 50 minutes and turn off the heat.
  • Lift up the cooked cauliflower onto a large serving platter and pour the sauce over and around it.
  • Serve right away.