Whole Roasted Cauliflower “Cacio e Pepe”

I love whole roasted cauliflower and romanesco with good quality olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper, and grated pecorino. If you don’t have pecorino in the house, feel free to use Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for a milder flavor. It is so simple to make, and there is typically some left over for the next day.

Servings: 4-6


  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole, with skin on
  • 5-6 sprigs of thyme
  • 5-6 chive stems
  • 5-6 sage leaves
  • 6 tablespoons of extra virgion olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the cauliflower. Remove the outer leaves and cut off the bottom so that it is flat. Rinse your herbs.
  3. Add the cauliflower to a Dutch oven or medium sized heavy bottomed pot.
  4. Add two cloves garlic, herbs, three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and salt to taste.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover, and place in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
  6. Insert a long toothpick or skewer into the cauliflower to see if it is soft and ready to pull out of the oven. If not, allow to remain for another 5-10 minutes until soft.
  7. Uncover the cauliflower. Turn on the broiler, and continue to cook for another 7-10 minutes until the cauliflower is golden. If you prefer that it is more charred, you can leave it in for a few extra minutes.
  8. When the cauliflower is golden and tender, remove from the oven. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Slice the cauliflower into thick wedges. Sprinkle with sea salt, grated pecorino and freshly ground pepper. Finish with the remaining extra virgin olive oil and serve.