Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Salsa Macha

Every now and then, I love cooking vegetables the same way I would cook a large roast of meat. Whole-roasting cauliflower is a great statement roast and a nice change of pace from your classic Sunday roast.

The star of this dish is the salsa macha. Salsa macha is unlike other salsas that might come to mind. It’s made with dried chilies, nuts, seeds and olive oil. I love roasted cauliflower in brown butter, but wanted to shake things up a bit with this recipe. Brown butter has a natural nuttiness, and so does salsa macha. In this recipe, the peanuts and sesame seeds replace brown butter. The dried chilis add a layer of complexity to the humble whole-roasted cauliflower.

Day 1: Make the Salsa Macha

Salsa macha always tastes better the next day. So, it’s a good idea to make it the day before it will be served so the flavors mingle together over night. This salsa lasts a long time, up to a month. Don’t fret if you make too much since you’ll likely fall in love with this salsa and want to put it on everything.

Prep Time: 20 to 30 minutes | Cook Time: 10 to 15 minutes


  • 6 dried guajillo chilis, seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 4 dried ancho chilis, seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 4 dried morita chilis, seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 7 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cup olive oil

Step by Step

  1. Cook the garlic in olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until garlic is golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes
  2. Add peanuts to the same oil you cooked the garlic in, and toast until golden brown, about 2 minutes
  3. Next, toast the sesame seeds in the same oil until golden brown, about 2 minutes
  4. Cook guajillo, ancho and morita chiles in the same oil for 30 to 60 seconds — just until slightly puffed and darkened
  5. Then, add the water and apple cider vinegar to the mix and simmer for 15 minutes to soften the dried chiles
  6. After 15 minutes, the salsa macha is ready to blend
  7. Spoon the garlic, peanuts, sesame seeds and chilis into the bowl of a food processor, reserving the liquid and oil off to the side
  8. Begin pulsing the warm mixture in the food processor until it’s chopped down finely, about 2 to 3 minutes
  9. With the motor of the food processor running, transfer the remaining liquid to the liquid measuring cup. Carefully, stream the liquid into the food processor to help break down the solid ingredients. This takes about 2 to 3 minutes
  10. Season the salsa macha with salt
  11. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month

Day 2: Roast the Cauliflower, Serve & Enjoy!

This whole-roasted cauliflower is super simple and straight to the point. As mentioned before, cauliflower is a vehicle for the salsa macha, but it still holds its own in humble way against the robust flavors.

Prep Time: 20 to 30 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 1 whole cauliflower head (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • Salt, to taste

Step by Step

Prep & Roast the Cauliflower

  1. Place the oven rack in the middle position, then preheat the oven to 425F degrees
  2. Carefully cut to remove a little of the cauliflower stem and tough core, but be sure to keep the head intact. This keeps the cauliflower flush with the pan and prevents tipping over
  3. Brush the melted butter all over the cauliflower
  4. Season the buttered cauliflower with salt
  5. Place the cauliflower onto a roasting pan or baking sheet
  6. Cook in the oven at 425F degrees for 15 for 20 minutes *Farm2ChefsTable Tip
  7. Next, lower the oven temperature to 350F degrees and cook for one hour more or until it is tender when pierced with a fork
  8. The cauliflower is brown all the way around now and ready to serve

Farm2ChefsTable Tip: This high-temperature method of cooking at the beginning is called oven searing. It allows larger pieces of food to brown and sear without having to do it on the stove top.

Serve Up!

  1. Spoon the salsa macha onto a plate, smearing it all around
  2. Carve the roasted cauliflower into wedges and place each wedge onto the plate
  3. Enjoy with friends and family.