Chargrilled Cauliflower with Tomato, Dill and Capers

Reminder: Just one more day to take part in my Heritage Seed Potato Giveaway!

Grilled cauliflower salad

Yesterday on the Twitters there was some serious Yotam Ottolenghi worship happening. Sophie (Mostly Eating), Kathryn (Limes & Lycopene) and Helen (Fuss Free Flavours) were talking tofu and Master Chef, where sir Yotam recently made an appearance, further strengthening his position as veggie chef superstar.

I, too, having been digging Ottolenghi’s recipes for some time. I hate to be a total fan-girl, but the man is doing some really amazing stuff with vegetables. His dishes are inventive, flavoursome, satisfying, deeply flavoured… okay, maybe a bit of a faff to prepare at times, but altogether worth it. His food isn’t great because it’s vegetarian; it’s great because it’s simply good, real food that celebrates the ingredients and doesn’t cut corners.

(It’s interesting to note that Ottolenghi himself is NOT a vegetarian. I wonder, does it take an omnivore’s appreciation of food to truly celebrate vegetables?)

Back to planet Earth, I recently made the Chargrilled Cauliflower with Tomato, Dill and Capers from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, which proved another Yotam creation that didn’t let me down. And unlike many recipes in this cookbook, this one didn’t take hours to prepare or any weird or overly expensive ingredients.

After making this (recipe below), I reckon “chargrilled” is my new favourite way to make cauliflower. But if you don’t have a grill pan, consider roasting it instead as Cowgirl Chef does.

Grilled cauliflower salad

Chargrilled cauliflower with tomato, dill and capers

Adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.


  • 2 Tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 1 small cauliflower, divided into florets
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dill
  • 50g baby spinach or rocket leaves
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halves
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Make the dressing by hand or in a food processor or blender: mix toggether the capers, mustard, garlic, vinegar and some salt and pepper. Whisk vigorously or run the machine while adding half the oil in a slow trickle. You should end up with a thick, creamy dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets to a large pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 3 minutes only. Drain through a colander and run under cold tap water to stop the cooking. Leave to dry. Once dry, mix with the remaining olive oil and some salt and pepper.
  3. Place a ridged griddle pan over the highest heat and leave for 5 minutes to get really hot. Grill the cauliflower in batches, making sure they’re not cramped. Turn them as they grill until nicely charred. When done, transfer to a bowl While the cauliflower is still hot, toss with the dressing, followed by the dill, spinach and tomatoes.
  4. Check the seasoning before serving and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature – it’s good all ways.

8 thoughts on “Chargrilled Cauliflower with Tomato, Dill and Capers

  1. kathryn

    Oh lovely, lovely Monica. I've never seen Ottolenghi in action, but I utterly admire his food. Some of his recipes are a bit faffy aren't they – a bit cheffy – but the ideas and flavours are just really, really good. I've roasted cauliflower on many occasion, but never thought to chargrill. Delicious stuff this.

  2. Choclette

    Sounds good. I shall have to try this, as although I love cauliflower cheese, it's nice to ring the changes. I think Ottolenghi is great, but his recipes are not generally the simplest so I don't actually make as many as I thought I would when I bought Plenty.

  3. Jes

    What beautiful cauliflower! I love how simple and elegant it is. Perfect for the cold springy weather we're having over here 🙂

  4. Mom

    Another way to prepare my favorite vegetable! This looks fabulous… love the colorful napkin and dark plate, too… 🙂

  5. Sophie

    It's nice to have some more company in my ottolenghi worship 🙂
    I must admit that I hadn't really noticed this recipe in the book but it does look tasty. Do you think it would work if you skipped the parboiling stage and just roasted the cauliflower? I'm all for using less pans

  6. Monica

    Sophie, the recipe doesn't stand out because there isn't a beautiful picture of it in the book! I think it would be great with roasted cauliflower. I'm all for less mess, and less steps, too!


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