Roasted Whole Cauliflower on Barley and Leeks

, from Issue #92. August, 2020
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Roasted Whole Cauliflower on Barley and Leeks

Cauliflower now takes its rightful place as star of the show. Roasted on a bed of leeks, mushrooms and barley with a final rich topping, it’s a meal even hardened carnivores will enjoy.

Serves: 6


2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
knob of butter
1 large leek, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, crushed
250 grams mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 cup white wine
1 bag baby spinach
1 cup pearl barley
1 litre vegetable stock
1 small-to-medium head of cauliflower, large outer leaves removed, stem trimmed to sit flat
sea salt and ground pepper

To finish
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
½ cup freshly grated parmesan


Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.

Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan and cook the leek, onion, rosemary and garlic for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes until they have started to soften.   

Increase the heat and pour in the wine, letting it bubble up and reduce by half. Stir in the spinach to wilt then stir in the barley.

Tip into a large roasting dish and add the stock.

Brush the cauliflower with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place in the centre of the dish then roast for 50 minutes, stirring the barley occasionally for even cooking.

To finish: Combine the cream, mustard and parmesan then spoon over the cauliflower. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes until golden.  

To serve: Cut the cauliflower into wedges to serve.