I cannot turn around these days without running into a whole roasted cauliflower: on Pinterest, in magazines, and even at random restaurants on Long Island. Whole roasted cauliflower is everywhere, but it all started with an Israeli chef.
Eyal Shani is known for many things: his antics on the popular Israeli show Master Chef, his innovative approach towards ingredients, and his global restaurant sensation Miznon. He is also credited with launching the whole roasted cauliflower craze.
As Julia Moskin wrote in The New York Times in 2016, a full year before Shani opened his NYC location of Miznon:
His “baby cauliflower,” now famous, blanched in salted water and then oiled and charred in a wood-fired oven, started the craze, which has been picked up by the likes of Jamie Oliver, Rachael Ray and Giada De Laurentiis.
It has also become one of the defining dishes of modern Israeli cooking. (One Vienna food blogger wrote in December, a few days before the opening of Miznon, “In just a few days I will finally be able to eat the famous cauliflower!”)
Israeli cuisine is diverse and very vegetable forward; in fact, Tel Aviv was named as the vegan capital of the world in 2017. So it’s no great surprise that an Israeli chef figured out a way to make cauliflower even tastier with a sexy presentation that is equally appropriate served for lunch on Wednesday or as a main dish on a holiday or other special occasion.
I have fully jumped on the bandwagon, running to Miznon in Chelsea Market whenever I can sneak away and also roasting my own whole cauliflower at home, maybe almost weekly at this point. And you should, too. Some trends are trendy for good reason.
Some recipes to try:
- Miznon’s Whole Roasted Cauliflower from Food & Wine
- Roasted Cauliflower with Tomato Salsa and Tahini
- Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese from Bon Apetit
- Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tomatoes and Herb from Watch What You Eat
- Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Sesame and Ginger from The Endless Meal
For more on Chef Eyal Shani watch our short video interview with him.