Roast Romanesco Cauliflower with Pistachio Pesto & Lemon Labne

PREP TIME: 30mins


A true celebration of the queen of cauliflowers – the romanesco cauliflower.

With its beautiful crown shape it feels like such a treat to serve this at my supperclubs.


  • 1kg romanesco cauliflowers, leaves reserved, florets broken into bite size.
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raisons
  • garnish: 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts & dill

Spice Rub

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  • 3 tablespoons toasted pistachios
  • 30g coriander leaves
  • 10g tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • enough good olive oil to make a paste

Lemon Yogurt

  • 250ml double cream really good yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 pinches salt


  1. Preheat oven to 200c. Line a small baking tray with baking paper, add the cauliflower leaves, season with salt, pepper and olive oil, roast for 5-7 minutes until tender, keep aside.
  2. To make the rub, toast the chilli flakes, coriander, cumin and fennel seeds until fragrant. Grind in a pestle mortar until fine, then add the cinnamon and paprika. Add the spices to a small bowl (or use the pestle and mortar) add 4 tablespoons good olive oil, garlic and 1 teaspoon oil, mix well.
  3. Add the cauliflower florets in a large bowl, add the spice rub and rub the cauli pieces with your hands until the pieces are well coated. Line 1 or 2 large baking trays with baking paper, add the cauliflower in a single layer (no overlapping), drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. In one corner add the cauliflower leaves and roast until golden and tender but still holding their shape. The cauliflower is the star of this dish, so keep an eye on them.
  4. For the pesto, whizz the pesto ingredients together until a rough paste, I like my pesto chunky, season with salt, pepper and more lemon (if needed). Add enough good olive oil to make a chunky but fluid pesto.
  5. For the lemon yogurt, mix the lemon zest, lemon juice and salt, mix well and taste.
  6. Add 1/4 cup boiling water to the raisons, let them soak for 10 minutes or until plump, drain well and set aside.
  7. To serve: spread the yogurt evenly to a large serving platter, top with the cauliflower, half the pesto, drizzle a little oil, add the roasted cauliflower leaves, scatter the raisons, add the dill, pine nuts and season well with salt & pepper and lemon zest.
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