Ester's Roasted Cauliflower with Almond Sauce on white plate
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5 from 12 votes

Roasted Cauliflower with Almond Sauce (Ester Restaurant)

This is a signature dish from Ester restaurant in Sydney, Australia which is one of the top restaurants in Australia, as well as being one of the trendiest. The recipe was provided by the restaurant to Gourmet Traveller Australia which is where I found it. The restaurant chargrills it in an enormous wood fired oven. I don't have one of those in my tiny kitchen but the chargrill flavour is easy to recreate using the grill/broiler. I've provided two alternative sauce options because the almond sauce is quite rich and also sometimes I can't be bothered to pull out my food processor to make the sauce. :)
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Meal, Vegetable
Servings: 4 as a side
Calories: 418kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

Ingredients

Almond Sauce

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , separated
  • 2 tbsp brown rice vinegar (or rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • Black pepper

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 large head of cauliflower (Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon , juice only
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup almonds , roughly chopped and lightly toasted in a dry frypan
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves (packed)

Instructions

Almond Sauce

  • Place the almond meal, water and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the almond meal starts to swell - around 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Pour the almond mixture into a blender or small food processor and whiz until smooth. Add brown rice vinegar and salt and whizz to mix.
  • With the blender running, add the egg yolks then pour the oil in a thin stream. Keep whizzing while you pour and the sauce will become thick and creamy. Taste to check the salt and pepper, then set aside (keep at room temperature).

Roasted Cauliflower

  • Cut the cauliflower into quarters (leaving most of the outer leaves on). Cut off a bit of the core, otherwise it won't cook through because it is thicker (see photo below).
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the cauliflower, bring back to boil then boil for 3 minutes. (Alternatively you could steam it.)
  • Drain and leave the cauliflower to steam dry for 10 minutes. It also continues cooking.
  • Preheat the grill/broiler on high and place the rack around 20cm/8" from the heat source.
  • Drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil then place under the grill/broiler for 5 minutes until nicely charred, then turn the cauliflower and char the other side for a few minutes.
  • Remove the cauliflower from under the grill/broiler and drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

To Serve

  • Spread about 3/4 cup of the Almond Sauce on a plate. Place the cauliflower on top, sprinkle over the almonds and mint.
  • This can be served warm or at room temperature.

Notes

1. The cauliflower I used was around 25cm / 10" in diameter.
2. This recipe makes more Almond Sauce than you need because it is hard to make a smaller amount. Reserve leftovers in the fridge and drizzle over roasted vegetables or meats.
3. The Almond Sauce is quite rich. So here are two other simple sauces that go really well with this that are lighter and faster / easier to make.
Lemon Yoghurt Sauce - a simple sauce alternative that matches superbly with roasted cauliflower. Mix together 1 cup of creamy plain yoghurt with 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper, 1 small garlic clove (minced), 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 to 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Place in the refrigerator for the flavours to develop for 20 minutes. Variation: Add 3/4 tsp cumin powder to give this dish a Middle Eastern twist.
Yoghurt Tahini Sauce - creamier than then Lemon Yoghurt Sauce but still much lighter than the Almond Sauce! Mix together 3/4 cup of creamy plain yoghurt with 2 tbsp of tahini, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper and 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Place in the refrigerator until required.
4. Nutrition assuming 4 servings which is a fairly substantial serving (1/4 cabbage per person). Ester Restaurant Roasted Cauliflower Almond Sauce Nutrition

Nutrition

Serving: 144g | Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 9.7g | Protein: 7.4g | Fat: 41.2g | Saturated Fat: 5.3g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 607mg | Potassium: 432mg | Fiber: 5.4g | Sugar: 2.6g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 44.6mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2.7mg