This smoked whole cauliflower is the truth! One of the things I love about cauliflower is that its mild flavor allows it to easily take on other flavor characteristics such as the apple wood smoke used in this recipe.
This smoked whole cauliflower recipe is part 2 of a series of Dallas inspired recipes for the month. It was inspired by the cauliflower at 18th and Vine BBQ in Dallas. 18th and Vine is one of my favorite spots to hit when I’m in town. They have a great beer selection and are creative in the different meats and vegetables they smoke including whole cauliflower. To be completely transparent, the chef/partner Scott Gottlich is a former schoolmate from high school, but regardless you should check-out the spot if you’re ever in Dallas.
I recently found a few different colored varietals of cauliflower including yellow, which I used in this recipe. It’s a very simple recipe – it’s essentially the whole cauliflower, olive oil infused with jerk spice rub, and wood smoke. Now you can always roast the cauliflower whole, but you’ll miss the smokiness provided by the smoker. The jerk spice is optional, as any of your favorite spices will work.
Today’s song is by N’dambi another former schoolmate, but in this case college at Southern Methodist University (SMU). Her music has inspired many of my dishes over the years. The music is modern, mixing different genres like rock, funk, and jazz, but definitely grounded in classic r&b.
As my family continues to move more and more to a plant based diet (my goal is to get only 20% of my daily food calories from meat and the rest from plant foods), cauliflower provides many options. We pretty much use it as a substitute for any starchy dish (mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, etc.) as well as substitute for meat such as vegetarian tacos. Being a self-proclaimed pitmaster, smoking cauliflower is a perfect fit for my diet progression. Successful diet/lifestyle changes require confidence; you gotta know you got what it takes. Not so much from a can I mentally do it, but do I have easy access, a plethora of options, and the skills to make the change seamless from a lifestyle perspective. The beauty of this recipe is that it’s just good regardless of your dietary preference.
Great beats, better eats. Enjoy this smoked whole cauliflower!
Smoked Whole Cauliflower with Jerk Spices
- 1 head cauliflower green leaves trimmed off
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Jamaica jerk spice or other spice mix of choice
- 1 medium lemon juiced
Prepare a smoker/grill for indirect grilling according to product instructions.
Mix 1/4 cup of olive oil with spice mix and then cover entire exterior of cauliflower with the mixture.
Place the cauliflower heads on the indirect side of the grill. Close the lid. Smoke the cauliflower for 45 minutes to an hour, maintaining the temperature inside the grill at around 250 degrees and turning the heads after 25 minutes, until they are fork-tender but not mushy.
Transfer the cauliflower to a cutting board. Slice cauliflower in half lengthwise, then cut each of those pieces in half lengthwise, so that you have a few thick slices.
Transfer the slices to the grill grate directly over the coals and grill for about 3 minutes per side, until they are lightly charred.
Transfer the cauliflower to a platter. Sprinkle with lemon juice and remaining oil, then with additional spice mix to taste.