“Buffalo” Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce

IMG_2849Whole roast cauliflower is a unique dish in its lauded ability to provide a vegetarian version of the Sunday Roast Effect – the kind of communal joy of the perfectly cooked centrepiece being brought right to the table. There’s no better way to serve this dish than to bring it in whole, on a board with a knife to carve into its crispy roasted outside and reveal its creamy white curds.The idea (and the name) for my version of this dish comes from the classic Buffalo Wings at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. They serve their spicy chicken wings with a blue cheese sauce and sticks of celery. I think it might be even better with cauliflower.

Buffalo Cauliflower with Blue Cheese Sauce

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For the blue cheese sauce
  • 100g full flavoured blue cheese (I like dolce gorgonzola)
  • 120g sour cream
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • Small bunch of chives, chopped fine
  • 1/4 tsp of nigella (onion seeds)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated/microplaned

Dice or grate the blue cheese and allow it to come to room temperature. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. Keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.

Serves 2-6, depending on size of caulilflower

For the Buffalo Cauliflower:

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  • 1 whole cauliflower
  • Approx 50ml Sunflower oil
  • Maldon salt
Dry rub spice mix:
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 190C

Mix together all the spices and set aside. Cut off and discard the outer green leaves of the cauliflower. Generously drizzle the head of cauliflower with oil, and then rub it all in with your hands to make sure that all outer surfaces of the cauliflower have been oiled. Wash and dry your hands, then sprinkle the oiled cauliflower generously with salt all over, and then with as much spice mix as necessary, again rubbing it all over the surface. Shake off any excess spice mix, and roast in an ovenproof dish for approximately 1 hr, or until the thickest part of the cauliflower stalk is al dente. Serve with the blue cheese sauce.

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(Any extra dry rub can be kept in an airtight jar in a cool dark place. I use salt separately rather than putting it in with the other spices because I want to have as much control as possible over the saltiness.)

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