1 large cauliflower, about 1kg
50g butter, softened
2 tbsp olive oil
For the sauce (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 anchovy fillets, roughly chopped (optional)
Leaves from a couple of sprigs of thyme or rosemary
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
For the dip (optional)
150g creme fraiche
75g feta or similar cheese, finely crumbled
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Level the cauliflower at the base so it sits flat. Heat the oven to 240C. Bring to the boil a large pan of water with 1 tbsp fine salt per litre dissolved in it, then lower in the cauliflower, stem-side up. Bring to the boil again and cook for eight minutes, turning once if necessary, then drain and leave to dry in a colander, florets-side down, for 10 minutes.
Beat the oil into the butter. Rub all over the cauliflower and season, then roast on a baking tray for 20 to 30 minutes until well browned, basting occasionally.
Meanwhile, if you’re making the sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and fry the garlic and anchovies, if using, until the garlic is golden and the anchovies begin to break down. Stir in the herbs and the grated zest of the lemon, followed by the tomatoes and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Season to taste, then pour into a shallow bowl and place the cauliflower in the middle.
If you’re making the dip, stir the cheese into the creme fraiche. Finely zest in the lemon, then add a scant 1 tbsp of its juice. Top with a little olive oil and serve alongside the cauliflower when it is cool enough to handle.
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