ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WEDGES with Saffron Yoghurt + Hazelnut Dressing

The inspiration for this recipe came from a memorable meal at Loretta's in Wellington where a whole roasted cauliflower was the highlight of the evening. I wanted to create a less time-consuming dish for a weeknight meal, with all the flavour that comes from roasting. With a cauli the size of a football at my disposal , I cut it into large wedges and cooked until golden. Served with a selection of sauces, this dish is a pleasing side to slow-cooked meat or pan-fried fish.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes


  • 1 large cauliflower about 1.5kg
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Honeyed Saffron Yoghurt

  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • ½ cup natural yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt

Hazelnut & Mandarin Dressing

  • 1 garlic clove
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnuts roughly chopped
  • Juice of 1 mandarin about 2 tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley


  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower, leaving the smaller inner ones attached, and cut the whole cauliflower into six to eight large wedges. Arrange the wedges on the baking tray with space between each. Sprinkle with paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle evenly with olive oil.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the wedges and bake for a further 15 minutes or so until tender when pierced with a knife and slightly browned around the edges. Serve with the following sauces.
  • Place the saffron threads into a small bowl and add 2 teaspoons boiling water. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Combine the yoghurt, honey and olive oil, mixing well to dissolve the honey. Season with salt to taste. Strain the saffron, discard the threads, and swirl the infused water through the yoghurt.
  • Place the garlic and salt into a mortar and pestle and grind into a paste. Add the anchovies and hazelnuts and mix well. Squeeze in the mandarin juice, mixing until smooth then stir in the olive oil and parsley.

The garden has well and truly ground to a halt with this recent cold snap. Winter has arrived with a force this year, one of the cooler I can recall in recent years. In one month the garden has been blanketed with as many frosts as we would get during an entire winter.

I planned ahead this year and planted my winter produce early, squeezing the small seedlings in and around the still producing summer produce. In went cauliflower, kale, broccoli, broad beans, leeks, snow peas, silver beet, and brussels sprouts.

After a decade of gardening in my valley garden I know too well that the winter produce needs a good head start before the frosts arrive. Even with this foresight, I am still eagerly awaiting the winter harvest, fearing this cold snap might push them out another month. Gardening is a wonderful tutor of patience, but before I know it we will be eating like queens, just maybe a little later than I had anticipated.

Thankfully market growers are producing winter produce handsomely, with large bunches of kale, huge broccoli heads and cauliflowers the size of my head.

With produce this good I have been serving them up with gusto at the dinner table. Rather than steaming or boiling, I harness more dry heat styles of cooking. Roasting and sauteing brings out the sweetness of these flavour-dense vegetables.

*Recipe first published 4 July 2018 on

In the Garden: Winter 2018

I haven’t shared a garden update recently as there really hasn’t been much to report. As mentioned above the growth is incredibly slow due to regular heavy frosts. And to be honest I have been quietly enjoying a little break. It has been a busy few months teaching/presenting out of town so it is nice and to take it slow during the weekends at home. I do notice the weeds are beginning to win, so an early birthday present of a Niwashi is on its way.

Harvesting: parsley / celery / sprouting broccoli / broad bean tips / small amount of hardy lettuce / cavelo nero – I have left this to self seed all around the garden and we are rewarded with an endless supply / coriander – also self seeded, loves the cold so I always have plenty of this to harvest all winter / amazingly a few Black Krim tomatoes are still growing in the glasshouse / in the other fruit department lemons, mandarins, and oranges are just about ready.

Growing (slowly): cauliflower / brussels sprouts / leek / broad beans / silver beet / purple curly kale / garlic / onion seedlings

Tasks: weed and weed some more / cut down the 30cm high green crops (mustard, lupin and oats) and chop small to work into the soil, add compost and cow manure to prepare for spring planting / sow more green crops to prepare ground for late spring planting / weed garlic / look after onion seedlings / plan summer seeds to source and sow next month onward.

Join the Conversation

  1. Yum!!!

    1. Oh yes! Do you remember that whole roasted cauliflower?

  2. Janine Di Luca says:

    Love love love this recipe.Easy tasty and fast. It is now my favourite way of eating cauliflower.

    1. Thanks Janine, I make it most weeks while the caulis are abundant still!

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