Middle Eastern Tahini Roasted Cauliflower

This Ottolenghi inspired dish is bursting with flavor from the garlic and herbs in the sauce. The true star ingredient, however, is the sweet and crunchy pomegranate. They are the secret ingredient that brings all the different flavors together, so don’t leave them out!

This dish pairs wonderfully with simpler bases such as rice, bread, or even pasta. It would also greatly enhance a chicken or beef dish if you’re a meat eater.

The beautiful purple and green cauliflower I used in this recipe were picked up at my local farmers market. If you are unable to find such unusual colors, the standard white cauliflower will work as well. Although the colors look beautiful, they all have a similar taste and texture.

Cauliflower ingredients:

  • 2 small heads cauliflower
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground paprika
  • a generous glug of olive oil

middleeastern-tahini-roasted-cauliflower-ingredients-4Sauce ingredients:

  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1.5 lemons
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 Tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch of salt and pepper

middleeastern-tahini-roasted-cauliflower-sauce-ingredients

Garnish ingredients:

  • pomegranate seeds from one fruit
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

First prepare the cauliflower.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Section your cauliflower heads into small florets and place them in a large bowl. To this add the salt, paprika and enough olive oil to coat the cauliflower. Toss everything together before emptying the veggies onto a baking sheet. Make sure the florets are not lying on top of each other in a big heap as they will not cook evenly.

middleeastern-tahini-roasted-cauliflower-ingredients

Place in the preheated oven and roast for 40 minutes, tossing half way through. When it has finished, the cauliflower should be golden with crisp edges and a soft center.

While the cauliflower is roasting, make your sauce.

In a blender add all of the ingredients except the olive oil. Turn on the blender to a medium speed and mix until everything has broken down. With the blender still running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Turn up the speed to high for thirty seconds.

Your sauce is now done. Pour this into a small pitcher or container and reserve. The sauce should be deliciously creamy and light green with a savory herbaceous flavor that is cut slightly by the hint of maple syrup. Dip your pinky in and try some. I dare you to stop at one taste.

Next prepare your garnish. Seed the pomegranate and chop up the parsley. Toast the chopped almonds in a small frying pan on low heat, stirring often to ensure they don’t burn. This will take about five minutes.

Now assemble the dish. Place the cauliflower in a shallow serving bowl and top with the sauce (you will only need about half, so reserve the rest for another day). Mix the cauliflower and the sauce until each floret is coated in green goodness. Sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds, toasted almonds, and chopped parsley and give everything a final mix together.

middleeastern-tahini-roasted-cauliflower-delicious

Enjoy this dish as I have done here with crusty bread and an extra dollop of sauce. Alternatively, it makes a perfect side dish for dinner or as part of a buddha bowl for lunch.

 

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