Every once in a while you come across a recipe that you absolutely adore. This is one of those recipes for me. I love the pairing of the cauliflower and the pesto. It reminds me of those warm summer days, when the basil grows its fragrant leaves that practically beg to be made into pesto. And what better way to use that pesto, but to stuff a cauliflower.
Prepare 1 whole Cauliflower
Clean and rinse the whole head of cauliflower.
Cut off as much of the leaves and middle stem as possible without compromising the florets.
Bring a medium pot with salted water to a boil.
Place the whole cauliflower in the boiling water. Let it boil for 4-5 min.
Remove the cauliflower from the boiling water, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and set aside to dry.
Next Prepare the Pesto:
2 cups basil
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted or un-toasted) *
3-4 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
In a food processor add basil, parsley, spinach, pine nuts, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast flakes, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse into a rough paste scraping down the sides occasionally. Then slowly add the olive oil to the paste while the food processor is running.
Stuffing the Cauliflower
6-8 tablespoons Panko Bread Crumbs
Right before stuffing, add bread crumbs to the pesto and stir to combine. This will help the pesto stay inside the cauliflower.
Next, add the pesto and bread crumb mixture to an icing bag (plastic bag) and fill from beneath the cauliflower into open spaces. You can even fill some from the top, if you have space.
Place right side up on a baking tray.
Brush the whole cauliflower with:
2 tablespoons of melted vegan margarine
2 tablespoons of Panko Bread Crumbs
It works really well to combine the margarine and bread crumbs before brushing it on the cauliflower. This step will ensure a nice browning on top.
Bake at 400F for 45-50 min.
Note: Serve with extra pesto if desired!