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Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto

lectin free

I used to eat a whole roasted cauliflower in a restaurant here in Dallas. However, I just found out that their pesto had cheese, so all this time I thought I’m not eating dairy, I was actually, every time I was going to this restaurant (fortunately, not that often). So I’m going to start making my own whole roasted cauliflower and sharing the recipe with you, because is delicious and super simple to make. 

You can use any type of pesto you have around, I always change the recipe depending on what kind of greens I have. For Christmas I used basil, parsley, chives and arugula; today I used arugula, parsley, cilantro and mint. I do use a small amount of raw macadamia nuts but you can use any nuts you want or skip. You can use garlic or not. And if you eat dairy, feel free to add some parmigiano in the pesto, or grate on top towards the end and make or broil for 5 more minutes. If you need help with the pesto, you can find this Basil and Walnut Pesto recipe on my website or this Lacinato Kale Pesto. Or you can even use my Green Dream Herb Dressing, or my Plant Paradox Herbs Vinaigrette

An easy way to make pesto is to mix all the herbs (washed and dried) in a food processor with a small handful of nuts (I prefer macadamia or pistachio but you can use anything). Add garlic if desired. When the herbs are chopped, start adding extra virgin olive oil through the feeding tube until you get a creamy consistency.

My favorite herbs / greens for pesto: basil, arugula, parsley, cilantro, kale, chives, mint.

lectin free whole cauliflower

As per the cauliflower, the doneness can be adjusted to your liking. I made it both soft and on the crunchy side, and I prefer the crunchy version. The time in the oven will also depend on how big your cauliflower is, but a medium one will take about 40 minutes for a harder bite and 45 to 50 for a soft one. It’s easy just to check tenderness with a knife or fork.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pesto

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (17 votes, average: 2.82 out of 5)
By Claudia Curici Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes

An easy, plant based and lectin-free meal, delicious and healthy.


  • one whole cauliflower
  • 1 cup pesto of your choice
  • extra virgin olive oil for serving
  • salt and pepper



Make sure you have one cup of pesto before starting. Check the text above for ideas.


Preheat the oven to 400F. Prepare a Dutch or a French oven (like Staub or Le Creuset).


Clean the bottom of the cauliflower, removing all the leaves and cut so you have a stable base. Be careful so you don't cut any of the florets. Wash and pat dry.


Turn the cauliflower upside down and add some of the pesto on the base, pushing the pesto into the spaces in between the florets. Turn it around and add more pesto on top, coating the entire surface. You can add as much as you want, but keep some fresh pesto for serving.


Put the cauliflower in the Dutch oven, cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 25 minutes covered. Removed the foil and cook for about 15 more minutes, or until the cauliflower is done to your liking. I made them both soft and crunchy, and I prefer it more crunchy (plus, the cauliflower retains more nutrients when not over cooked).


Serve with more extra virgin olive oil, more fresh pesto and salt and pepper if necessary.

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