Leslie Hottiaux's Roasted Whole Cauliflower

. August, 2016
Photography by Todd Eyre.
Leslie Hottiaux's Roasted Whole Cauliflower

Alan Brown, an acclaimed chef and AUT lecturer who has taught many of New Zealand's best chefs, has just released a new cookbook Recipes from the Kiwi Pizza Oven. Alongside his recipes, he's included some signature dishes from restaurants he loves – like this one from Leslie Hottiaux of Apéro Food & Wine.

Serves: 6–8


1 whole cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
50 grams soft goat’s cheese
50 grams crème fraîche
50 grams almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, finely sliced

This is one of the secrets that Leslie delights her guests with. Quite magnificent — and almost too good-looking to scoop into. Les, being French, has ‘the know’ on where to procure soft goat’s curd for the base. As domestic gods and goddesses, you, like me, may have to devise a deliciously cunning mix of soft goat’s cheese and crème fraîche.


Wood oven: 280–330°C

Home oven: 220°C for about 15–20 minutes

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil – it needs to be big enough to cover the whole cauliflower. Simmer the cauliflower for 10 minutes.

Drain off the water, drizzle the cauliflower with a little olive oil, and season. 

Roast in a hot oven for 10–15 minutes, until a little coloured.

Mix together the crème fraîche and the goat’s cheese so that it is the consistency of lightly whipped cream. If it is too thick, thin it down with a little water.

Spread the goat’s cheese mixture on a serving platter. Place the cooked cauliflower on the goat’s cheese.

Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, the chopped almonds and mint.