Whole Roasted Cauliflower

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1 large cauliflower
Olive oil

1/3 c. blanched almonds (I've also used slivered)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tblsp. unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. wine vinegar (red or white), or to taste
1/2 c. coarsely chopped parsley, mint, or cilantro (or a combo)
1/2 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

Put a cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet or pan) in the oven and heat it to 375. Put a small pan of water on the oven floor to create steam

Discard the outer leaves of the cauliflower, and trim the stem and a small bit of the core so that it stands upright, but is intact. Rinse the cauliflower, and leave water clinging to it. Drizzle it with olive oil, covering top and bottom, then sprinkle it with salt.

Place the cauliflower on the pre-heated pan, core side down, and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, at least 1 hour, and as much as 2 (depending on its size). During the cooking, baste it 2 or 3 times with more olive oil.

While the cauliflower is baking, toast the nuts in a frying pan over a low heat, shaking the pan often, until they're just golden and fragrant. Set the aside to cool. Then, pulse the almonds garlic and butter in a food processor until they're smooth. Mix in the oil, then the vinegar, and finally the herbs and pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

When the cauliflower is tender, serve it in the skillet or on a serving plate either whole (more dramatic!) or cut in wedges, with sauce spooned around each wedge.

Source: Adapted from The New York Times