Pot-roast cauliflower with butternut tomato sauce

Whole cauliflower takes centre stage in this simple, veg-packed one-pot wonder.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hours

Serves: 2


2½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1½ tsp dried chilli flakes
5 rosemary sprigs, leaves chopped, stalks reserved
2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
4 bay leaves
385g pack butternut squash wedges (or chopped flesh)
1 large cauliflower head (about 1kg)
400g can plum tomatoes
1 lemon, zest, and juice of ½


1 Preheat the oven to 220˚C, gas mark 7. Heat ½ tbsp oil in a large casserole over a medium heat. Fry ½ the garlic, ½ the chilli flakes, ½ the rosemary leaves and ½ the fennel seeds with the rosemary stalks, bay leaves and squash for 6-8 minutes, until golden. 

2 Meanwhile, trim the base of the cauliflower to flatten; remove and discard along with the thicker outer leaves. Add the tomatoes to
the pan, season, then place the cauliflower into the centre. Cover with
a tight-fitting lid and roast for 30 minutes, or until the core is just tender. 

3 Mix the remaining garlic, chilli, rosemary leaves and fennel with 1½ tbsp oil and the lemon zest and juice. Season and brush over the cauliflower. Roast, uncovered, for a final 15-20 minutes, until golden. 

4 Lift the cauliflower from the pan and mash the squash into the tomatoes, loosening with 100-150ml hot water, to make a thick, smooth and spoonable sauce; season, discarding the bay and rosemary stalks. Cut the cauliflower into thick wedges and serve with the sauce, plus a little chopped parsley, some crusty bread and a green salad, if liked.