Roasted purple cauliflower - Merlin Labron-Johnson

This is a beautifully simple dish that shines a light on the humble cauliflower.

Merlin Labron-Johnson,


  • 1 large purple cauliflower
  • 75ml vegetable oil
  • 250 ml vegetable stock
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 50ml sour cream
  • Dried cherry powder
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • Handful lemon thyme
  • 50g butter


    Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and set aside for another dish. Cut half of the cauliflower into 4 nice wedges. From the other half of the cauliflower, take two large florets and chop them as finely as possible so that it almost resembles couscous grains. Roughly chop the remaining cauliflower and set it aside. 

    Take a large saucepan and use it to heat the vegetable oil, when it is nice and hot, throw in the roughly chopped cauliflower and start to slowly caramelize. When it starts to stick, deglaze it with the vegetable stock and reduce down until it sticks again. Repeat this process until the cauliflower is evenly caramelised and very soft. Place in a blender with ½ clove of garlic and process until very smooth, adding a little more stock if necessary.

    Season with salt and a touch of red wine vinegar. Whilst the cauliflower is caramelising, roast the wedges. Heat a little oil in a large heavy bottomed pan and add the wedges. Roast them slowly on all sides until they are nice and golden then add the butter, lemon thyme and remaining garlic. Baste the cauliflower for 1 minute then place in the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking.

    To finish, warm the cauliflower ‘couscous’ in a pan with some olive oil until just soft and season with salt, pepper and a little vinegar. Put the cauliflower wedge on a plate and garnish with the sour cream, cherry powder, roasted cauliflower puree and the purple ‘couscous’.

    This dish is ideally suited to the Crane S3 Casserole


    Photos by Ed Schofield ,