Whole Baked Cauliflower with Pistachio Dukkah

Let’s start with something a bit different today:

20 Random Food Related Facts About Me

I think putting tomatoes and strawberries in the fridge is a food crime. Besides making them so cold it makes my sensitive teeth hurt, refrigeration makes them tasteless. If you must refrigerate them, make sure they come to room temperature before you eat them.

I grew up a steak hater. I only started eating it about 4 years ago. The best steak I have ever had, anywhere, is Key’s steak.

We don’t have a dishwasher in our house in Singapore. Yes, I decided to start writing a food blog without having a dishwasher. In all honestly, when you don’t have a job, it’s just two of you and you are at home a lot, washing up is not that big of a deal :)

I don’t get quinoa. I will almost immediately delete a blog subscription email if I see quinoa in the title. I’ve only once had quinoa that I liked and that was in a quinoa salad made by a food lover friend at my last job.

I have a phobia of milk touching my skin. Spilt milk…gag. Milk baths…double gag.

Both deep frying and letting the pressure out of the pressure cooker scare me.

I love lettuce. A bowl of just cos or iceberg lettuce with a creamy dressing on it is heaven to me. I remember going to sizzler as a child and getting excited about the simple green salad with thousand island dressing on it.

A few years ago I lost 25kg. Ok, some of those kilos have crept back but still…25kg! I’m still proud of that today.

I usually only have one coffee a day but if I don’t have that coffee in the morning, you do not want to be around me.  I don’t even want to be around me.

Nearly every time I buy groceries, even if it’s just a few small things, I walk up and down every aisle in the supermarket.

I am not a big fan of custard or whipped cream and I especially dislike that hard set custard that you find in a custard tart. Because of this, profiteroles are not amazing to me. Crème patisserie has a strange texture that I really dislike.

Stemming from the hard set custard dislike, I also don’t like gelatinous things sometimes. I’m fine with a pannacotta or jelly but that set gelatine on top of pate or a gelatine glazed fruit tart is gross.

A few months ago I realised I was actually drinking TOO much water. I was drinking 6 litres some days which can actually be bad for you. Now I’m down to a much healthier 2 -3 litres a day.

In a restaurant, I will nearly always choose the chocolate dessert unless there is some kind of citrus tart or pie on the menu.

I love gross junk food just as much as I love healthy home cooked meals.

I cried when Jamie was on Masterchef last year. Key was out, so I was at home alone crying over Jamie. Weird I know, but that man was one of my biggest inspirations to start cooking.  Clearly I think he is super important as I just read that last sentence and I didn’t even add his last name. I just assume everyone should know who Jamie is :)

I can’t make pancakes. I don’t know what it is, I just screw them up every time. Luckily Key makes amazing pancakes.

Of all the cook books I own (hundreds) Luke Nguyen’s ,The Songs of Sapa is my absolute favourite.

When people call macarons macaroons, it makes my blood boil.

Lucky last (and not really food related) The day we flew out of Australia to move to Singapore, was the first time I had ever left the country.


Whole Baked Cauliflower with Pistachio Dukkah

Did you know you can roast a whole cauliflower? I had never thought of it until recently when I randomly came across some recipes online. Key loves cauliflower, especially baked, so I thought I’d give this a try straight away.

The results were really good, we had it with some steaks and salad, which was yummy, but I could also imagine a vegetarian tucking into it as the main part of their meal.


Oops…this isn’t actually a whole cauliflower as I couldn’t get one. It was half of a big one though and it was plenty as a side for both of us.



You still want some texture of the nuts to remain. The sesame seeds go in after all of the grinding so that they remain whole.


pistachio dukkah

The dukkah quantities make about double the amount of dukkah that you will need for this recipe. The dukkah stores really well in a sealed container with the rest of your spices though. Use it as a dry dip with bread and extra virgin olive oil, as a crust for fish or chicken or mixed through greek yogurt for a savoury sauce.



Rub the dukkah over the cauliflower and then bake. Part way through the cooking time, some water goes into the bottom of the dish to steam and help cook the cauliflower all the way through.


whole baked cauliflower


Whole Baked Cauliflower with Pistachio Dukkah

Ingredients – Serves 2-3 as a side dish

  • 500g portion of cauliflower – that will be around 1 whole small cauliflower or half of a really large one
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbs olive oil


For the Dukkah – Makes about 1/3 cup

  • ¼ cup of shelled pistachios
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds



  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. To make the dukkah, first grind the pistachios in a food processer. Grind until there are no whole pieces left, but there are still some chunks of nuts.
  3. Add the cumin, coriander and salt to the processer and grind again quickly until all of the ingredients are combined. Remove the spice mix from the processer and stir through the sesame seeds.
  4. Prepare the cauliflower by cutting off any leaves or brown edges. Trim some of the root if need be, but leave most of it intact.
  5. Place the cauliflower right side up in a small ovenproof dish. Pour the lemon juice and olive oil all over the cauliflower.
  6. Rub about half of the dukkah right over the cauliflower.
  7. Roast the cauliflower in the oven. After 20 minutes, tip ½ cup of water into the bottom of the dish. Roast for another 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft all the way through when you insert a knife into it.
  8. Serve hot as a side dish with steak, chicken or fish and salad.


whole baked cauliflower with pistachio dukkah



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Hi! I’m Taryn. The Wooden Spoons is a food blog and collection of wooden spoons, recipes and stories. I’m a Canberra fan-girl with a passion for all things food. I love South East Asian food, fusion food done well and slow cooked anything. I don’t get quinoa, have a mild phobia of milk touching my skin and custard from a package freaks me out. Thanks for joining me on my cooking and food adventures.
  1. Faja Reply

    Your 20 facts about you are a gem! Love you xx

    • Taryn Reply

      you totally know they are all true! Love you too xx

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