a roasted cauliflower, with a wedge cut out of it, on a white plate

Combi Steam Roasted Cauliflower

This whole cauliflower is rubbed with spices and roasted in the combi steam oven, making the insides steamy and soft and the outside burnished and full of Moorish-inspired flavour. Served with hommus, toasted almonds and tangy dried apricots, it’s a showstopper of a meat free dinner.

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Last week I cooked three cauliflowers using combi steam.

Now, that’s a lot of cauliflower for one girl to eat, so you might be relieved on my behalf to know I only ate one – the other two were cooked as demonstration dishes for appliance-buying clients.

Why am I telling you about this veritable week-long cauliflower festival, you ask? Well, I wanted to share a delicious combi steam recipe for any cauli-loving readers, but I also want to highlight something about combi steam cooking. This might seem really obvious but I don’t talk about it often enough here: the fact that every combi steam oven cooks differently.

A story of three combi steamed cauliflowers

Each of my three beautiful white brassicas were treated in much the same way, rubbed with spices and olive oil and roasted in their entirety. The difference was in the ovens and humidity levels.

The first cauliflower was cooked for about 55 minutes in a plumbed Gaggenau combi steam oven at 200°C (392°F), with 60% humidity. It came out slightly frazzled at the edges, which I love. The interior flesh was creamy, yielding but not too mushy and really, it was just about perfect all around. But I’m not great at just stopping something after one attempt at perfection. So the second go was identical but using 80% humidity and a slightly shorter cooking time (maybe 40 minutes, though I forgot to set a timer). It was good but the flesh seemed a bit over-steamed and too soft for my liking.

My third and final attempt (for now – there are only so many cauliflowers you can look at in the space of a few days!) was done in my Neff combi steam oven. Although the newer Neff models have variable steam selection in the form of low/medium/high steam options, my previous model doesn’t. I just select the combination steam function and temperature, and the oven dictates the humidity level based on oven temp. So I cooked at 200°C, just as for the Gaggenau versions, and set my timer for 45 minutes.

Was the Neff cauliflower vastly different to the Gaggenau ones? No, not hugely, but there were some variations. Firstly, the exterior spice rub was a little more crust-like coming out of the Neff oven. It didn’t make much difference to the taste but some patches browned a bit unevenly. Now, I generally assume when I’m cooking in the Neff oven that 200°C operates at roughly 60% humidity, but have never been able to find out for certain. I’ve had to base that assumption on using other variable-steam appliances and cooking the same things at the same temperature. I’m happy to report I still think that’s about right, based on this totally uncontrolled experiment. The flesh of the Neff cauliflower was similar to the 60% humidity Gaggenau version, although I think it was about a similar level of doneness after 45 minutes rather than the 55 I gave the Gaggenau one.

In essence, all my experiments were very good and for anyone who’s a little spooked by the seemingly limitless variations in oven settings, humidity levels and steam types, don’t be. While you might find there are slight differences in food cooking times, moisture and final texture between different brands of combi steam oven, those differences are minimal, and only really noticeable if you were to blind taste identical dishes cooked in different ovens.

The moral of today’s story? If you see a recipe you like and it’s written for a different brand of combi steam oven than your own, try it anyway. Or, you know, you could just make my recipes, which are written for any and all combi steam brands, and frequently tested across various models! 😉

I’ll be back next week, hopefully with a new, great everyday bread recipe. Looking forward to sharing it with you all.

Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon.

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a roasted cauliflower on a bed of hummus, with a wedge cut out of it, on a white plate
a combi steam roasted cauliflower, with a wedge cut out of it, on a white plate
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Moorish Roasted Cauliflower

This whole cauliflower is rubbed with spices and roasted in the combi steam oven, making the insides steamy and soft and the outside burnished and full of Moorish-inspired flavour. Served with hummus, toasted almonds and tangy dried apricots, it’s a showstopper of a meat free dinner.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: moorish roasted cauliflower, roasted cauliflower
Servings: 4
Calories: 264kcal
Pin Recipe


  • 1 cauliflower whole head, tough outer leaves trimmed off
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika sweet or smoked, whichever you prefer
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 lemons 1 zested and juiced, the other zested for serving
  • 7 oz hummus a bought tub is fine
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds toasted
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots sliced
  • A big handful of fresh mint leaves


  • Method
  • Set your oven to 200°C/400°F, combination steam setting. If your oven has variable humidity, use 60%.
  • Mix the oil, salt, pepper, spices, garlic and lemon zest and juice in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the cauliflower, ensuring you cover it well. Put the cauliflower into a roasting pan and cook until it’s well browned on the outside and soft in the middle, about 45 minutes.
  • To serve, spread the hommus over a platter. Top with the cooked cauliflower and scatter with almonds, apricots, mint leaves and the extra lemon zest. Serve hot or warm in wedges.


  1. Serves 4 as a light dinner – you could make it more substantial by adding some flatbreads.
  2. This seems like a huge list of ingredients. It is in number, but most of them are ground spices so the preparation for this dish is fairly quick. You can mix up the rub, coat the cauliflower and set it aside for up to a couple of hours before cooking if you want to prepare ahead.
  3. I like to serve this with hummus (a bought tub makes life easy), though natural yoghurt or babaganoush (aubergine dip) are also delicious accompaniments.

Over to you – if you try this recipe I’d love to know about it! Please share your pictures with me on Facebook or tag them #whatsinthesteamoven on Instagram>.

If you’d like more Steam and Bake recipes and steam oven inspiration, sign up for the mailing list right here. No spam, just an email every now and then to tell you the latest. Plus, you’ll get access to the exclusive subscribers-only Combi Steam Cooking Facebook group. It’s full of people at all stages of learning about combi steam cooking, and I’m in there answering your questions, posting videos, tips and cooking inspiration.

And if you’re after more delicious combi steam vegetable recipes, the Vegetarian Index page has plenty. Try the Cauliflower Salad with Dates and Yoghurt Dressing if you just can’t get enough roasted cauliflower in your life. Or perhaps you could do with some Carrot Hummus after being inspired by today’s hummus inclusion.

10 thoughts on “Combi Steam Roasted Cauliflower”

  1. Emily Rhodes

    You could microwave it but I’d be inclined to just roast from start to finish in a conventional oven. Perhaps covered for the first 20 minutes to stop the rub drying out too much, then uncovered until it’s tender. Maybe an hour or just a little more in total.

  2. Hi Emily,
    tried this recipe for the first time earlier in November in my Miele CSO. It was a huge hit but a tad under in the middle when cooking to your settings. I made it again last Saturday for a Christmas party and it was again a smash hit with everyone but this time I cooked at 200 degrees, 65% steam for 1 hour and it was pretty perfect. I was asked for the recipe but no one else has a steam oven. How can I convert it? I was thinking around 8 minutes on high in a microwave and then roasted for 30-40 minutes in a convection oven.
    I’d love to hear your thoughts before I share your recipe with everyone.

  3. 5 stars
    My 8 year old requests this regularly (yes really, requests for cauliflower from Miss 8)! The cauli looks fabulous as a centrepiece starter, and the various accompaniments (hummus, dates, flaked almonds, dried apricots etc) really take things up a notch. Another winner, thank you.

  4. I did the whole cauli in Cuisinart on bake/steam for 45 mins. I’m new to this so didn’t realize it cooks so much faster. It stayed whole but was mush inside and the rub did not penetrate into the cauli. The top was thick and grainy. I ate what I needed for my dinner and tossed the rest out.

  5. Have just made this for dinner in our Siemens Combi Oven, sorry no photos, we were too keen to serve up. I did the whole cauli, and as there is only the two of us, will be using the remainder to make a yummy soup. We served it with hummus and it was delish, two thumbs up. Thanks for sharing

  6. Made the cauliflower donate, turned out perfect in texture and loved the seasoning. Thankyou👍🤗 Robin

  7. Emily Rhodes

    Hi Anna. I love that in bench steamer, have developed a fair few recipes for it over the years and it’s such a great appliance! Yes, you could definitely steam first and then transfer to the oven. I think I’d leave the rub off until you transfer to the oven though, otherwise it’s going to get very wet and very messy. Perhaps try around 15-20 minutes in the steamer then coat with the rub and put in a hot oven for around 20-30 minutes. Would love to know if you try it. 🙂

  8. Hi Emily, this sounds great! I have the Gaggenau in bench steamer and regular oven – would you suggest I steam for a while then transfer to the oven to finish?

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