Recipe: Try Chef Nancy Silverton’s Roasted Cauliflower for a Sunday spread

At the virtual tour of pistachio harvest in California. chef Nancy Silverton shares a delectable recipe 
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachio Crumble and Green Onion Crème Fraiche
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachio Crumble and Green Onion Crème Fraiche

Though miles apart, the bumper harvest of California’s San Joaquin Valley, seemed like happening in the Indian backyard. The virtual tour organised by American Pistachios Growers gave us a deep insight into the harvesting culture of the region with growers giving us a first-hand experience of the process.

Speaking on the occasion Judy Hirigoyen, Vice President, Global Marketing of APG offered, “India is a growing market for American pistachios. The volume of American pistachio exports to India is growing rapidly as more Indian consumers are getting aware about the health benefits of these amazing nuts. Only recently American pistachios were declared as a Complete Protein which implies that these pistachios will have the same benefits that one would typically find from animal protein sources. This we believe will result in tremendous demand in a primarily vegetarian society like India. American pistachios are also great for diabetics and pre-diabetics.”

Chef Nancy Silverton enriched the session with her live cooking session. Here’s one recipe from her kitchen.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachio Crumble and Green Onion Crème Fraiche

Yield: 1 Whole Cauliflower / 1 cup crème Fraiche

Pistachio Paste:

¼ cup / 55 g blended olive oil

¼ cup / 30 g whole pistachios

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 each, zest of lemon, peeled with peeler

2 tbsp / 3 g fresh oregano, finely chopped

1 tsp / 1 g fresh thyme, finely chopped

½ tsp / 3 g kosher salt


In a small saucepot, combine oil, pistachios, garlic, and lemon zest and cook over medium heat until the garlic is light golden brown, and the nuts are toasted. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. In a food processor, add the mixture, oregano, thyme and salt. Pulse the mixture until the lemon zest is broken down and the nuts are chopped. The mixture will be like a chunky paste.

Green Onion Crème Fraiche:

½ cup / 120 g crème fraiche

¼ cup / 30 g scallions, minced

¼ cup / 30 g shallots, minced

1 garlic, grated with Microplane®

2 tsp / 6 g kosher salt

½ lemon, juiced


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, combine and set aside.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower:

1 each cauliflower, leaves intact

Kosher salt for seasoning cooking water / as needed

3 tbsp / 20 g olive oil blend

2 tsp / 5 g kosher salt


Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position. Preheat the oven to 374°F (190°C). Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a boil. Add kosher salt until the water tastes like the ocean. Place the whole cauliflower into the water. The cauliflower will float, and the leaves will stick out of the water. Cook for about 7 minutes. Using tongs, flip the cauliflower so the leaves are submerged and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the cauliflower from the water and place onto a baking sheet. Allow to cool to room temperature. Pour off any excess water that had accumulated on the sheet pan and wipe dry. Drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil blend and sprinkle with 2 tsp (5 g) kosher salt.

Pistachio Topping:

3 tbsp / 20 g extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp / 3 g flaky sea salt, such as Maldon sea salt

3 tbsp / 20 g pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp /3 g Micro Cilantro


Spread the pistachio paste evenly over the cauliflower. Place into the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and some spots have a slight char. Place on a plate or wooden board. Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle flaky sea salt, chopped pistachios and Micro Cilantro. Serve with a side of the Green Onion Crème Fraiche.

Equipment: Food processor, medium bowl, small sauce pot, sheet pan, large stock pot, tongs, plate or wooden board.     

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