Cauliflower is a really special vegetable. It’s incredibly versatile, and these days you’ll see a lot of people chopping it finely and using it as a substitute for rice. I’ve even seen it used as a substitute for pizza crust. Who would have thought? This recipe demonstrates simplicity to the max while letting the beloved vegetable shine in its own glory.
The classic combination of butter, sage and lemon gives this recipe all the extra love it needs to stand out from the rest. We cook the cauliflower whole, leaves and all, wasting nothing. Slowly roasting and steaming in the slow cooker, the cauliflower cooks to a perfect tenderness, while Parmesan cheese adds a nice crust around the outside. The natural liquid of the cauliflower releases into the pot, and with some fresh parsley mixed in at the end, we use it to sauce the finished dish.
1 large whole cauliflower
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ cup powdered Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
If cauliflower has greens still attached to the bottom, leave them on. Place whole cauliflower in the slow cooker.
In a small bowl, mix together garlic, butter, sage and lemon zest.
Pour butter mixture over cauliflower. Use your fingers to rub into the surface.
Evenly sprinkle with the salt and pepper, followed by the powdered Parmesan cheese.
Pour the lemon juice around the cauliflower in the slow cooker (not on top of the cauliflower).
Cook on low for 5 hours, or on high for 3 hours, 30 minutes.
Gently remove the cauliflower from the slow cooker. Add parsley to the slow cooker and mix with the liquid from cooking.
Slice the cauliflower and pour the sauce (cooking liquid with parsley) over the top.
Serve with grilled chicken or fish, or let it stand alone and shine.
Pro tip: If your cauliflower still has the greens on, you can eat those as well. It’s actually a waste to cut them off and throw away. Plus, they’re delicious!