Grilled Cauliflower with Mint and Parmesan

A dish of grilled cauliflower with cheese
Prep Time: 
30 minutes
Number of Servings: 
Recipe Source: 
Where There’s Smoke by Barton Seaver ($30.00, Sterling Epicure, 2013)


  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Leaves from 5 sprigs fresh mint, torn
  • 3 Tbsp Chunky Almond Oil (recipe follows)
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese, preferably shaved with a vegetable peeler, or grated

For Chunky Almond Oil

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 oz slivered blanched almonds


  1. Place whole head of cauliflower in a large pot and cover it with cold water. Season generously with salt and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and then turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Gently remove cauliflower, set it upside down on kitchen towels, and let it drain fully.
  2. Drizzle cauliflower with oil and place it floret side down on the grill, directly over the coals of a medium fire. Cover grill and cook until florets begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes, depending on the intensity of the fire. Do not move cauliflower, as it will break apart. If you need to adjust the heat, simply rotate the grill grate so cauliflower is farther from the fire.
  3. Transfer cauliflower to a serving platter. Garnish with mint, drizzle with Chunky Almond Oil, and top with Parmesan.
  4. Serve cauliflower immediately as a whole head so that people can easily spoon off sections at the table.

Chunky Almond Oil

  1. Heat oil with almonds in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring every couple of minutes or so, until almonds are evenly light brown in color and oil is highly fragrant.
  2. Cool oil to room temperature. Store it tightly covered in the refrigerator; the oil will congeal, so take it out about 20 minutes before you need it. It will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge and can also be frozen for months.