Smoked beetroot cauliflower with garlic cloves, capers and dill

I smoked another cauliflower....I think I'm addicted.....I covered it in a mix of beetroot powder, salt, extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest, pouring this into the underside so favour gets to the inside parts. (You can see in the second pic how the oil got right in there) I stuffed capers and garlic cloves into the underside as you're eating it you get surprise roasted garlic you can mash and eat with the cauliflower. Slices of onion were cooked and smoked with it....jammy beetroot flavour and smokey onions.....what a combination! I roasted the cauliflower leaves too, cooled them then added them to a generous and peppery rocket mound and sprinkled them with the most amazing balsamic so thick it's like caramel.


1 cauliflower (I used a small to medium sized cauli)

2 tablespoons beetroot powder

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or olive oil) plus more for the leaves

(1 tablespoon liquid smoke - if you are not using a smoker)

The zest of 1/2 a lemon plus a little more for finishing the dish

1 tablespoon capers

4-5 garlic cloves

10 stalks of dill

1 onion, sliced


1 small packet of rocket

Balsamic vinegar

Pre heat your oven to 200c.

Cut the leaves off the cauliflower, discard the very outer leaves that are a bit battered and tough. 

Roughly chop the remaining leaves and set to one side. 

Mix the beetroot powder with the 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, and a good dash of salt.

Turn the cauliflower upside down and pour one quarter of the oil into the gaps.

Push the capers and garlic cloves into those gaps, you may have to push quite hard but they should go in. If the garlic cloves you are using are big cut them lengthwise in half and then insert them. 

Turn the cauliflower the right way up and cover with the remaining oil, using your hands (yes, this will get messy!) to rub it into every part of the cauliflower. 

Put the cauliflower on a piece of foil, put any garlic cloves that wouldn't fit inside on the top along with the dill stalks. Put the onion slices around the cauliflower. 

Wrap the cauliflower up very well, we want to keep all the steam inside so it makes the cauliflower soft. 

Put this into the oven for around 20-30 minutes, check if it is cooked on the inside by poking a fork into one of the stalks in the centre, you want it to be soft but not falling apart.

Toss the cauliflower stalks in a good drizzle of oil and a good dash of salt, mix well and roast in the oven for around 15 minutes until the stalk is tender and the leaves are crispy. Cool once cooked.

If you are using a smoker add your chips (I used hickory chips), remove and discard the dill stalks from the cauliflower, add everything else (cauliflower, onions, garlic) to the smoking plate. Smoke the cauliflower for 10 - 15 minutes. 

On your serving plate add a layer of rocket followed by the cauliflower leaves. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Add the cauliflower to the plate with the onions and garlic, dress with a grating of lemon zest.