Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Green Pea Chutney

This recipe goes all the way back to 1980, when my mom and dad got married and bought their first cookbook, The Pleasures of Vegetarian Cooking, by the iconic and prolific Indian food writer Tarla Dalal (please stop what you are doing and Google this amazing lady, who published over one hundred books and is an absolute icon). Mom was looking for a vegetarian dish that could work as a dinner party showstopper, and discovered this idea in Dalal’s book. The chutney for this dish has evolved over the years as my mom has added little tweaks to make it really sing—but I’m obsessed with the current version, which is richer and heartier than your typical chutney thanks to the walnuts and peas, but still manages to taste light and bright. Eat the leftover chutney with anything and everything—grilled chicken, steamed rice, pasta, a piece of cardboard... you get the idea.

WHOLE ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH GREEN PEA CHUTNEY is excerpted from Indian-ish © 2019 by Priya Krishna with Ritu Krishna. Photography © 2019by Mackenzie Kelley. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Ingredients

For the cauliflower

  • One 2- to 3-pound head cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt

For the chutney

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 small Indian green chile or serrano chile, halved lengthwise and stem removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (stems and leaves)
  • 2 walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 1 lime), plus lime wedges for serving

Steps

Step 1

Bake the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Step 2

Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet, evenly drizzle the 1/4 cup oil over the top, and sprinkle with the salt. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the cauliflower is golden brown and fork-tender.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make the chutney: In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the fenugreek and peppercorns and toss in the oil for 1 to 2 minutes, until the fenugreek has lightly browned. Add the green chile, garlic, and onion and cook until the onion has become translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peas and cook until they are warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Add ½ cup water and bring the mixture to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the salt and cilantro. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a blender. Add the walnuts and lime juice and blend into a smooth paste.

Step 4

On a plate, make a pool of chutney and top with the whole cauliflower. To serve, slice the cauliflower into “steaks” of your preferred size and top with more chutney as desired. Garnish with lime wedges.

photo by Mackenzie Kelley