Pan-roasted cauliflower with cashew cream

  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
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This glorious pan-roasted cauliflower recipe is fried in rapeseed oil before finishing in the oven for a wonderful rich colour. The cauliflower is served with a cauliflower and cashew salad and rich cashew cream, making a fantastic vegan main course for a celebration or dinner party. You can use walnuts in place of the cashews here if you want to mix it up a little for a slightly more intense nutty flavour. This dish was devised by Rob Howell, head chef at Josh Eggleton's restaurant Root.

First published in 2018
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Pan-roasted cauliflower with cashew cream

  • 2 cauliflowers
  • 250g of cashew nuts, or walnuts
  • 300ml of water
  • rapeseed oil, or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • salt
  • pepper

To serve

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • extra virgin rapeseed oil
  • salt


Preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 4
To begin, spread the cashew nuts or walnuts on a flat roasting tray and bake for 12 minutes, tossing them halfway through to ensure an even colour. Once roasted, remove the tray from the oven and leave to cool
To make the cashew milk, take 80% of the nuts and place in the blender along with a pinch of salt – reserve the rest of the nuts for the salad. Add 200ml water a little at a time while blending on high, until the mixture is smooth and creamy – it may need a little more water if it’s still too thick
Take one of the cauliflowers and cut off the florets. Shave half the florets into thin slices using a mandoline or grater and set the shavings aside for the salad. Roughly chop the remaining florets – these will be used to make the cauliflower purée
Heat a good layer of rapeseed or vegetable oil in a deep frying pan and sweat off the chopped cauliflower with a generous pinch of salt for 5 minutes. Add enough water to cover the cauliflower and cook until soft. Transfer the cauliflower to a blender using a slotted spoon and blitz until smooth and creamy, seasoning to taste. Adjust the consistency with the cooking liquid, if necessary
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To roast the cauliflower, take the second cauliflower head, remove the leaves and cut into 2cm thick steaks
Add a 1cm deep layer of rapeseed oil to a medium-sized frying pan and place over a medium heat. Coat the cauliflower slices in curry powder and salt, then place in the pan. Turn the cauliflower slices, browning on both sides and basting with the oil until lightly golden. Cook in the oven for 8 minutes until it reaches a deeper golden colour and is tender
To make the salad, mix the prepared cauliflower shavings with the extra virgin rapeseed oil, lemon zest, juice, roasted cashews and salt
To serve, add a generous spoonful of the cauliflower purée to each plate. Add some salad, drizzle over the cashew cream and top with the cauliflower steaks. Serve immediately
First published in 2018

Rob Howell is the head chef at Root, a veg-centric restaurant in Bristol's Wapping Wharf.

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